Page 142 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012
We always found it quite interesting that with all the resources of Treasury they did not put out an alternative. They said that what was in the Quinlan review was no longer their policy but they refused to put out the alternative. Here is the opportunity; here is the first vote in this Assembly where, if we are wrong, you can prove it. You can put out the documents, put out the modelling, that show what they will be.
That is the simple question before the Assembly. Do we want to know or do we want to hide it? If the Assembly votes today to hide it, it will confirm that the Quinlan review is right and that there is no alternative; that in fact rates have to triple in order to pay for the abolition of stamp duty.
It is time for the government to put up or shut up. They have said it is a lie, but they have no alternative to the modelling that they have put out. The modelling they have put out shows a tripling. So if that is wrong, what is it? Put it out there.
Government, crossbench, whatever we are facing here, has the opportunity to vote today to actually call for this document, call for this modelling, and then the people can actually know. The people of Canberra can actually know the truth. Mr Barr can tell them, “Here it is. When we abolish your stamp duty, your rates will go up by X.” For those people who live in Hawker who have seen a 25 per cent increase, your rates will go up by—how much? Where is it?
A vote against this amendment today is a vote to hide the facts and it is an acknowledgement that there is no alternative to the Quinlan review—that the Quinlan review is all we have. That is the government’s policy. That is the only way you can do it. If they are now going to change that policy, as I predicted they would some time ago, they should be honest about that. They should say, “Yes, we got it wrong. It was not equitable. It was going to see a massive cost burden on Canberra families. We got it wrong. We’re not going to do it. We are going to find other ways.”
So put up or shut up. Here it is. Here is the opportunity. Vote for it. It is a simple amendment. All it does is call for the modelling. A vote “no” is an acknowledgement that you have not been telling the truth. You have been hiding the truth and you are going to continue to hide the truth.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (11.12): Perhaps it would be easier if I helped Mr Seselja with his confusion about my role in this chamber, as he has brought it up during this discussion. I am a crossbench member of the executive. I sit on the crossbench. I have indicated perfectly well to Mr Seselja that I am prepared to work with him and his colleagues, and in a debate like this where I am not bringing forward a position that I have previously agreed to in cabinet I am quite open to voting with them. So hopefully that will ease the confusion for Mr Seselja and his colleagues and we do not have to keep hearing the same boring lines for the next four years, although I expect we probably will.