Page 1956 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 June 2015

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MR GENTLEMAN: I do not have the details of that projected cost with me at the moment. I can seek some advice on it, but I can advise that the capacity for the road from Ellerston Avenue to Johnson Drive has not yet been reached. There is still quite a bit of capacity in the current road structure to allow traffic to travel quite freely in the mornings and afternoons from the intersection—

Mr Wall interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Wall!

MR GENTLEMAN: of Johnson Drive through to Ellerston Avenue.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, how can you not know how much it would have cost for the extra distance from Ellerston to Johnson?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I said in my earlier answer, I do not have the detail in front of me. It is not that we do not know what the cost will be; it is that I do not have the detail in front of me. I will seek that detail from the directorate and come back to Mr Smyth.


MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in the 2011-12 financial year the ACT government received $209 million in rates revenue. In 2015-16 the budget projects that the government will receive $420 million in rates revenue. Why has the revenue from rates already doubled?

MR BARR: The shadow treasurer would be aware that we abolished commercial land tax and rolled a significant component of that revenue into the rates base. So that accounts for a significant proportion of the increase. There are obviously thousands more rateable properties in the territory as our rates base has grown between 2012 and now. Rates have increased by three factors: inflation or the wage price index component; a revenue replacement component associated with the abolition of insurance tax; and a revenue replacement component associated with cutting stamp duties.

We are getting rid of the worst taxes that the territory government levies. We have been cutting stamp duty every year; we have been cutting insurance taxes every year. We have been cutting these taxes every year. The fact is that, as the city economy continues to grow and there are more properties being transacted, a lower tax rate has induced an increase in transactions in some sectors of the market. Surely, even the shadow treasurer can understand that revenues grow in each revenue line each year, unless you are dramatically reducing tax rates. We have done so in relation to insurance taxes.

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