Page 872 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 April 2014

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That is true and accurate. Let us not forget the public health and wellbeing issues. Compounding this is the public health aspect of this case. The ACT has the lowest bulk-billing rates in the country, if you believe the government reports and the other findings, with 51.3 per cent of GPs in the ACT bulk-billing in the September quarter of 2012 compared to 86.5 per cent in New South Wales and 61.6 per cent nationally. And let us not forget the Productivity Commission’s ROGS findings that in 2012-13 almost nine per cent of patients deferred GP visits due to cost compared to the national rate of 5.8 per cent.

The situation that Dr Jamiel has found himself in in dealing with this government is scarily Kafkaesque. He could not build on the site while resolving the issue with his partner. He has currently already paid the ACT government well in excess of $1 million through the purchase of the land, land tax, interest on payments and legal fees, and now he is being slugged with the late development bill. Between all of those factors he has racked up a significant bill. He is not sitting there hoping the land appreciates to cover that because, as we all know, the land will not appreciate in the short term to cover that bill.

Mr Coe: Actually the opposite.

MR SMYTH: As Mr Coe points out, quite the opposite is happening. When the Treasurer claims that our city is open for business, he cannot possibly mean preying on hard-working businesses like those proposed by Dr Jamiel. Dr Jamiel had no hand in intentionally delaying the development of his block. If somebody wants to put the case that he deliberately bought a block with a partner so that they could stage some sort of business break-up, so that they could go to court, so that they could pay thousands of dollars in legal fees, so that they could do all this in anticipation of the government changing the commence and complete fees and so that they could then ask for a waiver, then they are fooling themselves. Dr Jamiel had no hand in intentionally delaying the development of this block for some future financial gain on the land. One would doubt how he will gain on the land in the short term, and, indeed, it may be very difficult as well in the mid to long term.

The issue here is very simple—the government wants a health facility at block 12, section 229. They zoned it for that purpose. The residents of Banks and Conder and Lanyon and Gordon certainly want a medical facility there. Dr Jamiel wants to build one there. I know you, Madam Assistant Speaker, would like additional medical facilities in the Lanyon valley. I know Mr Wall, the other member for Brindabella from the Liberal Party, wants a medical facility there in Lanyon. One would only assume that Mr Gentleman and Minister Burch would also like a medical facility in Lanyon. Indeed, as I stated, the government wants a facility there because they zoned it for that purpose and sold it for that purpose.

This motion calls for that to happen. It notes that there is a public need for such a medical facility and that the extension of time fees levied by the government on Dr Jamiel, even with a partial waiver, are making it financially unviable for him to build his medical centre. This is a well-intentioned medical doctor who escaped war-torn Iraq losing almost everything he owned to start a new life in Canberra. He has

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