Page 925 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 April 2014

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The current hardship multiples will be removed in the regulation. There will be no specified fee structure in the regulation for the calculation of debt under hardship. This will provide greater flexibility for the territory to determine each case on its own merit and decide on an appropriate EOT debt, moving forward, that is suitable to individual needs. The territory will have the option to reduce, negate for a period or negate EOT fees indefinitely in circumstances of hardship.

To complement the new EOT fee structure and to provide relief to lessees with existing EOT debts, the government has announced that it will refund or waive all EOT fees accrued between the period of 22 June 2012 and 31 March 2014.

Lessees who have paid EOT fees since 1 July 2012 will be able to apply to the government for a refund or an act of grace for fees that relate to the period 22 June 2012 to 31 March 2014. Lessees will need to apply through an application form available on the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate website, and the application period will remain open for a period of 12 months.

Current lessees who have accrued an EOT debt between 22 June and 31 March 2014 will be able to have that portion of the debt waived. Moving forward, debt accrued from 1 April 2014 will be calculated based on one times their general rates bill. There will be no expiry date for the administration of waivers of EOT debt. This will allow all lessees to be treated the same, regardless of when they became aware of the government’s announcement of treatment of debt during this period.

The changes to the EOT systems as proposed by this bill, along with other measures in this package, respond to local industry feedback; provide a short-term stimulus for continued development across the city; will significantly reduce EOT fees for new and existing lessees across the territory; and will provide a clear and transparent fee structure moving forward, giving lessees a significantly greater length of time to develop a block of land, whilst maintaining some capacity for the territory to ensure the timely completion of development. It will cut red tape and it will increase flexibility for developers. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (Water and Sewerage Price Direction) Bill 2014

Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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) (10.45): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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