Page 1501 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 April 2013
large number of pages of Hansard where each of us or each of our party groupings has spelled out our respective views on this issue. I do not propose to add too many more pages to that collection at this time.
The Greens will be supporting the amendment brought forward by Mr Barr, predominantly because I believe it actually provides the information that Mr Smyth has sought in his motion. In that sense, I think it is a pretty effective way to resolve the matter today. The Greens do believe that the windfall gain that the lease variation charge seeks to garner does belong to the community. As I said, the amendment provides the information that Mr Smyth is seeking and, combined with information that has been given about the LVC for 2011-12, the statements that have been made by the Treasurer and the information in the budget papers, I think that all the requests in the motion have been answered.
Further, I will just take the opportunity, while I have the floor and while we are talking about the LVC, to very briefly express the Greens’ ongoing frustration that the remission provisions that were created as part of the new scheme have not yet been utilised. I believe this failure to utilise the levers to get better outcomes for the community is a disappointing shortcoming at this point in time, and I look forward to that matter being progressed in a timely manner.
That said, that issue aside, the Greens strongly support the premise of the charge and are proud to have been able to make a positive contribution to the scheme.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (6.17): I thank Mr Rattenbury for his line about a large number of pages in Hansard. Yes, it has contributed—
MADAM SPEAKER: Just to clarify, Mr Smyth, are you speaking to the amendment?
MR SMYTH: I am speaking to the amendment and closing, I suspect.
MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you.
MR SMYTH: It has filled a large number of pages in Hansard and may well continue to do so. But what it has not done is fill the large hole in the budget called the urban improvement fund. By the minister’s own admission—and I thank him for the additional information; it is very useful to get the information during the debate—what we see confirmed is the absolute hole that exists in his budget. And I think it is very sad that we have this hole now clearly outlined by the Treasurer.
It is interesting that the Treasurer goes the snide route. We always know he is in trouble when he gets a little bit snide and says, “Mr Smyth says one thing to this group and one thing to that group.” I was at a lunch at the Property Council—I think Mr Wall might even have been there—where the Treasurer got up and said one thing to the Property Council when he said he was going to get rid of the commencement and completion fees but then did not do it. He absolutely, point-blank made it abundantly clear that here was an initiative that got a rousing round of applause from the gathered audience, quite to the astonishment of Ross Solly, who was the MC, and it never happened. They are still waiting for it. You say one thing; you never deliver.