Page 2165 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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of a vibrant growing city and from the perspective of having options for young people and often people who, as the kids move out, are looking for different options. They are looking for the townhouse or the unit in town.

So in terms of affordability, in terms of diversity, in terms of housing choice, in terms of underpinning a sustainable transport system, I think we can agree that encouraging unit development in the right places, along our transport corridors, at our major centres, particularly at our town centres, is the way to go. Putting a significant tax on one part of the housing market—that is, units—is not the way to achieve those outcomes. This will in fact discourage those kinds of outcomes.

It will therefore have flow-on effects. It will have flow-on effects because not only will there be fewer units coming on the market, affecting rentals, affecting cost, there will also be flow-on effects for the government as there is less turnover. Other areas of taxation, such as stamp duty, are affected through less turnover. Of course, infrastructure costs are greater if a greater proportion of your development occurs on the outskirts of town.

Of course, perversely, we know that in some areas, that is, residential infill areas, it may well devalue some properties. There is no doubt about it. This will hit at both ends, so that—

Mr Barr: So it will mean it will be cheaper?

MR SESELJA: Mr Barr interjects with his economics 101 analysis. But a tax cannot actually have more than one impact. If you have a $50,000 tax, it is going to play out in a number of ways. The government is on the record as saying that it could be any one of three areas where it would hit or a combination of the three. The three areas are margins for builders and developers, land values and, indeed, the cost of the final product. And any reasonable observer would suggest that it is likely to hit at all three.

So we will see less product. We will see rents going up. We will see the cost of units going up. We will see in some areas the value of people’s properties going down. All round, that is a bad outcome. And so what we will have is a policy that actually discourages the very thing that every party in this Assembly claims to support.

The obvious impediment included in this as a policy lever is obvious. Unfortunately, I think that that is one of the reasons, one of the rationales, behind this legislation. But of course, we also have a very poor process to get through this place.

Ms Gallagher: Yes, two years of consultation.

MR SESELJA: Yes, it was two years. But what we see is, firstly, you are trying to pretend it is not a tax. Then you sit there and have drafts of legislation, which are wildly altered late in the process to hide the details until the last moment. Indeed, most of the detail is actually not in this piece of legislation that we are debating. It was the Chief Minister across the chamber who claimed to me today that in fact the regulations have been provided. They have not. Again, you give us incorrect information. We are here debating a piece of legislation where the key elements would be through regulation and through guidelines and—

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