Page 3141 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013

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government, and let us see if the Greens, in keeping with their own policy goals on the website, have a clear presumption in favour of document disclosure.

This argument could have been ended a long time ago, but the government simply chooses not to end it. Either they have not done the work and they do not know what the effect of their reforms will be or they have done the work and do not want to tell the full truth to the people of the ACT. This argument can be finished today. The minister can just stand up and say, “I will make all of these documents available. We will do it through the 213A process.”

It is very important that this information becomes available. How do we reconcile the words of the Treasurer where he says, “Yes, I know exactly what the effect of the reform package will be,” without him letting anybody else know about those reforms. The government has an obligation where they are taking money from taxpayers to tell taxpayers the full story behind what they want to do and what the outcome will be, because there is a lot of uncertainty.

We had it yesterday with Mr Doszpot’s self-funded retirees motion. We all know a lot of pensioners and self-funded retirees have very little disposable cash and have great fears about the government fees and charges they are being charged under this government and for the growth of their rates. A large percentage of those self-funded retirees and pensioners live on big blocks, particularly in the inner suburbs, with big land values and big rates. If they are going to see their rates triple over a period of time, even if they double over a period of time—and we have all seen rates double in the last 10 years—I believe they have a right to know the full story.

It is a very simple motion: that, under standing order 213A, the government make these documents available. I ask Mr Rattenbury to honour his parliamentary agreement from the Eighth Assembly that ACT Labor and the Greens, building on the parliamentary agreement for the Seventh Assembly, undertake to ensure accountable and transparent government that is responsive to the community. I remind Mr Rattenbury of his own website where one of the principles the Greens believe in is that “a healthy democracy requires frank, transparent and accountable practices in all aspects of government.” Well, here is an opportunity for some frank disclosure, some transparency in releasing the documents and accountability in terms of good practice. I refer Mr Rattenbury again to one of the goals of the Greens: “open and transparent access to government documents, including a clear presumption in favour of document disclosure as part of a robust freedom of information system.” Well, consider this a very robust freedom of information request. I move that the motion be agreed to.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (4.07): The government has made available through budget papers and to the estimates committee extensive information in relation to our tax reforms. The principles on which the tax reforms have been undertaken are contained within both the Henry tax review and the Quinlan tax review. The government has been very clear on the timetables associated with changes within our taxation system. The bulk of the reforms that are undertaken in our tax reform

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