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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 August 2015) . . Page.. 2610 ..

If you are concerned about rate rises across the ACT, the Canberra Times published a list of 2015-16 residential general rates by suburb and the amount they have gone up. There is another table, I think, that they produced that shows the amount that they have gone up since the tax changes occurred. But it is very interesting to see where those rates increases have been and how much they are. It is in suburbs like Rivett. I know Rivett well. It is not an affluent suburb by any stretch of the imagination. The rates there have gone up by nearly 10 per cent, 9.6 per cent, an extra $160 a year. Across Weston Creek there are suburbs where it has gone up $220 a year.

You can see in some of the suburbs in Tuggeranong, places like Richardson, Monash, Gowrie, Gilmore, Calwell and Bonython, again massive rate increases—hundreds of dollars. These are not affluent suburbs. In the inner north, in Turner, in Watson and in Reid, we have got some increases here of $242 a year—year on year on year on top of what they are already paying, $242 every year. In Belconnen—you may have some interest in this, Madam Deputy Speaker—in Aranda, it is $261 extra every year. Rates are going up at 11.1 per cent. In Bruce, it is nine per cent; Dunlop, 9.7 per cent; Fraser, $144; Giralang, $151. In Charnwood, for those who have not put their money in the Labor Party pokies there, they are going up another $114 every year. Across every suburb in this town of ours you can see where these rates increases are coming out of everybody’s hip pocket.

We will not be supporting a budget which somebody who writes for the Australian Financial Review, somebody who is respected as a journalist, has looked at, has lived under and has come up with a verdict and made the call that these tax changes, these rates increases, implemented by this Chief Minister are cruel.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.42): The Chief Minister, Treasurer and Economic Development Directorate covers an enormous range of activities these days. As Mr Hanson has just said so well, taxation is covered by this portfolio. One of the interesting turns of the estimates was the twisting and turning of the Chief Minister where we went from, “We’re abolishing stamp duty” to “We’d like to be the lowest stamp duty jurisdiction in the country”. That is the problem with this Chief Minister and his reforms—you cannot believe him. These taxes were meant to go. They are clearly not going. We see them grow some $40 million from an estimated outcome of $220 million up to $258 million this year. They grow and they grow and they grow.

As I pointed out when we had the debate when these reforms were first announced, this is a magic tax. It has been abolished and it continues to grow! That is the problem, and people are not seeing the benefits. People are seeing the downside of what is happening. You only have to look at the case we had today in question time where the Manuka newsagency’s rates have gone up from something like $70,000 to $98,000 a year. The Chief Minister say it is on the back of a revaluation. The revaluation figures apparently were $1.5 million revalued to $2.5 million. I do not know any commercial property in the ACT that has seen growth in value like that in the last couple of years. They have not. We all know the market has been very, very flat. It started with Kevin Rudd’s 14,473 job cuts and was unfortunately continued by the federal Liberals.

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