Page 346 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 14 February 2017

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The barrier-free model removes unnecessary pressure on buyers by lightening the workload and financial pressures in the period between the exchange of contracts and settlement. Conveyance documents will now only have to be lodged once and buyers will not have to pay conveyance duty until after they have acquired title in their new property.

Madam Assistant Speaker, this new model will particularly benefit people who are buying a property off the plan because they can pay their deposit and then save up for their conveyance duty while their new home is being built. This will help all homebuyers, and especially first home owners and young families in the Ginninderra community, as it will ease the burden of saving up for a deposit in a growing property market.

In particular, somewhere like the Belconnen town centre has a number of large proposed developments where I expect people will be able to buy off the plan. So the potential impact and reach of these beneficial changes is great.

The bill also consolidates the exemption categories so that it will be easier for buyers to determine whether they are eligible for an exemption. This will create further transparency in a complicated transaction.

Finally, the bill contains a number of other amendments to remove red tape and abolish nominal fees. The bill will remove all fees of $20 and $200. The government recognises that these fees, which were originally introduced as a partial cost recovery measure, are no longer justified.

Processing property conveyances is largely done on a digital platform, meaning that the processing of transactions is less intensive and payments are handled electronically. The expenses involved in debt recovery also mean that retrieving small fees is not economical. Removing these nominal fees is a common-sense approach from government.

The Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 will provide homebuyers with a welcome simplification of the conveyancing process. By introducing the barrier-free model, consolidating exemption categories and doing away with nominal fees, the bill will remove unnecessary pressure and uncertainty during the conveyance process.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (11.02): The Greens will be supporting this bill in general. We support the reduction of red tape as long as that does not lead to an impact on things that the Greens feel are important, such as the environment or social justice when what is called red tape is sometimes there for a reason.

In this case clearly it is not there for a reason. It is just a hangover of how things were originally done, particularly manually. As the two previous speakers have pointed out, we now have digital processing of stamp duty. All of this can be done a lot more easily. I am very pleased that the government is moving along with the digital world and making things easier both for the people of Canberra and for the people in government who are administering the rules.

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