Page 3890 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Let us compare that with how other items in the community are going up. It is nice to do a comparison every now and again against the consumer price index. It gives a good indication of how the cost of living has changed in comparison to these increases. To put it into perspective, in Monash—a suburb that I have just listed—if you applied CPI, residents there would currently be paying an average of $1,228, not $1,628.

Richardson is an interesting one. This is the suburb that has been identified as the suburb of greatest disadvantage within the Tuggeranong area. This is a suburb where people are doing it tough. In Richardson, before Mr Barr started his tax reform, rates, on average, were $1,136. If you apply the CPI increases through to today they should be around about $1,205 but, instead, residents in one of the suburbs identified as doing it toughest in the territory are paying over $1,580. This is absolutely appalling given there has been no increase or return on service to match those sorts of increases. There has been nothing but extensive rate increases across the board. Is it fair and reasonable to expect Canberrans to continue to keep copping these increases on the chin? I think not. The big question to answer on the fairness aspect is what do residents, particularly those in the Tuggeranong region, see in the way of a return on service?

In a quick scan of correspondence that I have sent to Mr Rattenbury recently—or since my time of being elected—solely regarding issues of maintenance in Brindabella suburbs, whether it be graffiti, cleaning up the local park areas, footpath maintenance, shopping centre lighting or the like, I note there have been over 200 representations from my office to him alone, and that is for only one small part of this territory. Costs are going up; the service delivery is not.

The ignorance and neglect of the general amenity of Canberra, and in particular Tuggeranong, is a constant theme when I am out talking to constituents. It is the mainstay of the issues brought to my attention. I think it is appropriate at this point to put on the record an email that was sent to me about 20 minutes ago. This comes following my attendance at the Tuggeranong regional business forum this week.

Members of the committee spoke quite extensively at the meeting this week about the impact that the rates reform is having on business. There is a nice takeaway paragraph in here which says, “It is extremely disappointing that with the increase in rates the most basic services are not being maintained to a satisfactory standard, let alone seeing any significant improvement and investment in the Tuggeranong Valley. In particular, nothing is eventuating from three local group centre master plans, a short-changed Ashley Drive duplication”—the further announcement to that, again, still does not do the job completely—“and the delayed upgrade to Anketell Street. We are all concerned that our key focuses in the area, particularly the town centre, park and precinct, are being overlooked.”

That comes directly from the business community themselves. They see themselves putting their hands in their pockets further and further while Mr Barr’s budget deficit pays for follies like a tram that is going to service only three per cent of the population in Canberra. Yet they see no benefit, no return on service, no advantage for them, be it in their personal lives or economically in their businesses.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video