Page 777 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 March 2016

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What was Mr Barr’s response? There was not any concern for the workers, was there? There was not any concern for the businesses? It was, “If you’re having a $100 dinner in Civic, it’s the difference between sparkling water and still water.” That is the attitude of this elitist out-of-touch government writ large by the Chief Minister. He loves to quote from the Liberal Prime Minister, ironically, about rates and how wonderful he thinks he is. He keeps patting himself on the back about how reformist he is. He loves his reformist zeal as he gets the pats on the back from economic purists about—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, would you sit down for a moment.

MR HANSON: Certainly.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Earlier I did point you to relevance, as was raised by Ms Burch, and you managed to contradict me and say that there was no point of relevance, which is not very respectful to the chair. But I would like to refer you to the—

MR HANSON: Have you stopped the clock, Madam Assistant Speaker? Is that possible—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Stop the clock, please.

MR HANSON: as I am admonished.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you. As to relevance, it is stated in House of Representatives Practice:

The chair may take action under standing order 75(a) on the grounds of irrelevance if a Member’s speech strays from the approved topic of discussion. Although standing order 76 refers to ‘question under discussion’ and there is technically no question before the chair, the action of the House in supporting a proposed discussion of a particular matter in effect confines the discussion to the matter proposed.

So, firstly, once again, may I point out to you about remaining relevant and also about being respectful and not contradicting the chair. You may continue, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker. Of course, rates are enormously important to businesses. What we have seen since the Barr reforms of 2012 is rates for small businesses going through the roof. The rates now being paid by businesses, the land tax, the other fees and charges, the impost indirectly on them through paid parking and so on have made so many small businesses in this town unviable. Many are either closing their doors or, as Mr Wall will attest to because I know he goes and knocks on many doors, they are seeing that it is better for them to open their doors in Queanbeyan or elsewhere rather than operate in the ACT because of those rates.

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