Page 2460 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 June 2011

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Capital Territory. It is clear that this Leader of the Opposition has none of these attributes. He is barely fit to lead the opposition, and that is why Mr Smyth, Mr Hanson, and Mr Coe are all circling, waiting for the inevitable—the inevitable decline of Zed. It is, I suspect Mr Speaker, not too far off before they will strike.

Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I think we are actually out of time unfortunately. Mr Barr used it up to the last possible moment. That being the end of the matter of public importance, we will now turn to executive business.

Planning and Development (Lease Variation Charges) Amendment Bill 2011

Remainder of bill as a whole.

Debate resumed.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.41): I move amendment No 2 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 2546]. This amendment deals with another couple of important issues which I have touched on in previous speeches in this place. Indeed it goes to the heart of some of the problems. What this amendment seeks to do is make what is a very bad piece of legislation somewhat better, particularly in relation to the amount of the charge or the amount of the tax that will be levied.

One of the most extraordinary aspects of this legislation is that whilst it is clearly a massive tax on units and is a major hit on Canberra families and their ability to buy a unit or their ability to rent, what the government is trying to do really, in recognising just what a massive tax it is, is say, “The best part of this tax is that for a little while you will not have to pay it. It is a really good tax but because it is such a big tax you will not have to pay it for a little while. There will be a remission”—a remission which then gets stepped up over a period of couple of years.

What this amendment would do is actually give some level of certainty to industry going forward and to the community going forward that for a period of time, for a period of the next five years, this will be the regime. This would be a tax increase. What we are trying to do is make this tax not as bad, not as high. But what this would do is allow the government to set it at the rate they are planning on setting it on 1 July but to keep it there for a period of five years. The purpose of that is that you can get some level of certainty so that we do not have this constant upping, this constant bringing forward every 1 July, of all of these development applications.

As we have already seen over the last couple of years, as this process has progressed, it is completely at odds with the claims of the government that they would like to provide certainty on this, that they are providing this stepping up, because what that does is provide market distortions so that people can get in quickly and beat the tax rise. And we will have that beating of the tax rise occurring on a regular basis under the government’s proposal. Under the government’s proposal, every time it is going to

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