Page 2192 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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by delegated legislation and that the bill does not prescribe either a maximum figure above which the minister cannot determine a rate or, alternatively, a formula by which the rate can be calculated.

I note the committee has accepted the general approach that where the rate of a levy or tax needs to be changed frequently and expeditiously this may be better done through regulation than by enabling statute. We believe the lease variation charge falls into that category. It is to be based on market values and, as such, would need to change regularly. The same approach is taken to general rates and land tax.

A comparison will be with the price of greenfields land. That is not set out in the legislation. The codification schedules will be included in a disallowable instrument giving the Assembly power to overturn if it so wished. Putting a cap or other restriction on the charge in the act itself would be inappropriate. It would be inappropriate because it would not prevent the lease variation charge being determined in accordance with market values as envisaged. It would also prevent adjustments being made to take account of developments in valuation methodologies and related policies and, likewise, a formula cannot be prescribed.

In conclusion, this bill is a practical step to undertaking important microeconomic reform in the territory. I am disappointed that the opposition are not supporting these changes and not coming up with an alternative of how they believe the community should receive return from the additional granting of redevelopment rights for an asset the community owns.

In relation to that particular subsection that Mr Smyth has referred to, subsection 276B(1)(a), that is essentially saying that a lease variation charge is chargeable for a particular variation. If you are getting extra redevelopment rights granted and the lease variation charge payable is dealt with via the lease variation charge determination, that, to me—and maybe it is because I have been studying it for two years—is very clear.

Question put:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 11

Noes 6

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Dr Bourke

Ms Hunter

Mr Doszpot

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mrs Dunne

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

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