Page 735 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 26 February 2013

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Mr Smyth: Why won’t you answer it?

MR BARR: I have indicated that we support—

Mr Smyth: A point of order, Madam Speaker. The question is: why does the government support the LVC when the negative impacts on the property market are clear? The minister has not addressed the question at all and I would ask you to bring him to the point.

MR BARR: In my opening remarks I addressed the question.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Barr, I would like you to address the question.

MR BARR: If the question was why do we support the lease variation charge, it is because it is sound public policy.

MADAM SPEAKER: No, actually, that was not the question. Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Treasurer, can you outline how the lease variation charge is affecting the property market and how it is contributing to these decreases?

MR BARR: It is having very little impact. In fact, what we are seeing is a moderation in the market as the result of a significant increase in supply in previous years. So it is not unexpected that, following a significant boost in supply, you would see a period when you would return to more long run levels of supply and demand in the market place.

We are, of course, in a market circumstance where a lot of Canberrans are anticipating a change of government at the end of this year and have factored into their expectations what that change of government will mean to the territory economy. You hear that in the business community and you hear it from Canberrans who are concerned in relation to the stated policies of the alternate government at a national level.

The intervention in the debate by the Senate candidate last week is interesting. He put the position of 4,000 job losses in Canberra and he was almost immediately contradicted by the shadow treasurer, Mr Hockey, who confirmed 12,000, and Mr Abbott, who has talked about 20,000.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Treasurer, can you please advise the Assembly if any property developments were delayed or cancelled because of the LVC changes?

MR BARR: I understand that some developments have in fact proceeded as a result of LVC changes. In relation to codification and rectification, it has provided certainty in the marketplace and has allowed many developments to proceed. I note that, in

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