Page 1497 - Week 04 - Thursday, 29 March 2012

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This amendment will align the levying of rates on common areas in accordance with their purpose and permitted uses. This will result in greater equity for owners of the common area under a community title scheme.

It should also be noted that the proposed amendments would only change the treatment of a common area within a community title scheme, not the individual blocks associated with it. I commend the Rates and Land Tax Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Land Rent Amendment Bill 2012

Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (10.15): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill will improve the operation of the current land rent scheme. The land rent scheme commenced on 1 July 2008. Its purpose was to assist households, who might otherwise have been unable to enter the housing market in the territory, to purchase their own home. Besides reducing a significant barrier to entry, by enabling residents to rent a block of land from the government rather than purchasing it, the scheme also reduces the ongoing costs for the participating households. The scheme was the first of its kind in Australia and was one of the many actions contained in the ACT government’s innovative affordable housing action plan.

I am very pleased to report that, overall, the land rent scheme has been very successful. There have been 346 land rent contracts settled, with a crown lease registered. A further 753 land rent contracts have been exchanged. The scheme is now being supported by another financial institution, bankmecu, in addition to the CPS credit union.

Members would be aware that the government provides information sessions on the land rent scheme run by the Canberra Institute of Technology. These sessions provide those interested in the scheme with information about how the scheme works and the possible financial implications and costs associated with the scheme. Since the beginning of the scheme in July 2008, these sessions have attracted over 2,800 people.

The scheme has now been in place for around three years. The government has undertaken a post-implementation review of the land rent scheme to determine whether the policy has met its original objectives. The post-implementation review

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