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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 September 2015) . . Page.. 3061 ..

redevelopments in Civic have happened since his LVC was introduced, except for a couple that were approved under the old regime. Second, it is not a tax break to international and interstate property owners; it is to help local businesses and Canberra families. We just had a motion on supporting local businesses. Local businesses are saying to us, and we have heard them, that you are not listening. The lease variation charge needs to go. It is to help Canberra families. This cost is passed on.

That there is some sort of benign developer out there who will absorb the exorbitant lease variation charge and not pass it on is insane to even contemplate. It would send businesses broke if they were forced to not pass this on. That is how business operates. If there is a charge that the government levies, it is passed on; it is included in the tax.

I think it is terrible how the Chief Minister tries to blur the issue by drawing the line between the haves and the have nots, the standard response of the Labor Party. What about all this talk of attracting foreign investment to the ACT? Now he makes the foreign investors the bad guys when it suits his narrative. It is interesting, is it not? “I don’t think it is a high priority at the moment to give a tax cut to wealthy, international and interstate property owners.”

Some time ago he flogged the local business community for not stepping up to the plate and investing. So he was off overseas to find the money to fund the future of the ACT. Now, apparently, if you get foreign investment and you want to assist, it is a bad thing. “I don’t think it is a high priority at the moment to give a tax cut to wealthy international and interstate property owners. In large part it will create a distortion within the market.” First you play the haves and have nots line, then you attack foreign investment. Mr Barr, through you Madam Deputy Speaker, is disingenuous in all of this.

This is Andrew Barr’s failed mining tax. He is taking on a Wayne Swan persona where he has promised a tax that was perfect in all outcomes, that was going to deliver benefits for everybody and that, in fact, has delivered nothing for any of us. The problem is that as long as this tax remains in place in this form it will stifle the redevelopment of Civic. It will stifle and is stifling and will continue to stifle the infill that we all know that we need. It is seriously affecting the town centres. You can see from the numbers that I read out that the town centres are suffering dramatically as a consequence of this failed tax.

It is time. Perhaps if they listened to Dr Bourke’s motion about supporting business they would realise that this tax has failed, support the moratorium, vote for the motion, reduce the LVC to zero per cent for four years in Civic and the town centres and get the industry going and get the town going again after they have brought on it this crushing tax that has stifled redevelopment in Civic and the town centres.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (11.21): I move:

Omit all words after “notes” (first occurring), substitute:

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