Page 2291 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 June 2013

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MR BARR: Abolishing inefficient and distorting taxes and replacing them with efficient broad-based taxes improves the economic efficiency of the economy. It boosts economic growth and it boosts employment growth. The new stamp duty rates come into effect from today. Stamp duty on every single property in this territory is cut. That provides a real saving to everybody who is in the housing market. On average, Canberrans move every seven years. Some move more often than that, and so pay stamp duty repeatedly. It is an insidious tax that should be abolished, and the government will be abolishing this tax. So someone who buys a property tomorrow at $400,000 will save $2,400 in stamp duty. Someone purchasing a $600,000 property will save $4,150 in stamp duty since our tax reforms.

Those are real savings. They are not paying interest on the borrowings in order to fund that stamp duty, particularly for first homebuyers. Through our homebuyer concession scheme discounts, combined with the first home owner grant, someone who is purchasing an eligible property under $425,000 will save $26,000 on that transaction. That is Labor delivering to first homebuyers in a meaningful way.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, how much will a ticket cost for a transformational ride on capital metro from Civic to Gungahlin?

MR BARR: That detail will be available as the project develops.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Treasurer, how will the measures in the budget boost construction?

MR BARR: We are providing significant boosts in the residential construction centre, as I was saying in response to the earlier supplementary question. We are, through the homebuyer concession scheme and the retargeting of the first home owners grant, providing a real incentive for the construction of new properties. We have also a significant land release program over the next four years all over the city, providing opportunities for new residential development in Tuggeranong, in Molonglo, in Woden, in south Canberra, in north Canberra, in Belconnen, in Gungahlin. And we are very pleased to be able to announce today a new development front at Riverview in west Belconnen. So the government is providing opportunities in the long term for the ACT construction sector and providing targeted policies to assist the sector over the next 10 years.

Alexander Maconochie Centre—capacity

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Corrections. In 2007, in estimates hearings, the Attorney General stated in relation to capacity at the Alexander Maconochie Centre that it would, and I quote:

… certainly gives us a facility in terms of its current bedding configuration, as currently being constructed—not its potential but its current bedding configuration—to meet our needs over the next 25 years or so.

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