Page 505 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 15 February 2017

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they highlight that there is a willingness to have the default position by this government: “No it cannot be done,” rather than, “Yes it can.”

King Swim, the swimming school in Calwell which, thankfully, now has a couple of hundred kids going through every week doing swimming lessons, is there—and no thanks to those opposite when it wanted to impose punitive commence and complete charges on that site when someone was willing to put their hand in their own pocket and invest in the local community.

My colleague Mr Parton raised in the last sitting the issue of a distillery in Mitchell who have actually had to take on the hire cost of the power generator to power their facility simply because the infrastructure that is in place is not large enough to run the size of infrastructure that one would expect to be available in an industrial area.

Ms Cody in her speech mentioned the Phillip business community. I, too, was at the meeting last week that she and Ms Le Couteur also attended. I brought to this Assembly last time the issues that were raised at that meeting, and those opposite chose not to take any action other than the punitive measure of trying to introduce a blanket approach of paid parking across the whole area.

The things that businesses in Phillip want to see are simple. They want better management of parking so that there is a mixture of spaces there that allows staff to park and also a high flow for their customers and turnover to ensure they have got good custom. But they also want it to be an attractive place where people come, feel welcome and want to spend a little extra time. A bit of beautification—fixing the lawns up, maybe planting some gardens, perhaps even making it a bit more inviting with something like some play equipment for children—goes a long way in actually showing that this place, and those opposite particularly, do support the work that is being done in the Phillip business community.

Later I will be speaking about the mpowerdome, the multipurpose indoor sports complex in Fadden in my electorate, where, because of the dispute between the operators of that facility and the ACT government and the unwillingness to come to an agreement to facilitate car parking, that facility has had no option than to close its doors. That facility was seeing close to 2,000 people per week utilising this indoor sports facility: 2,000 people per week who now are at a loss as to where to go for sports training, community-based activities and the like. We will get to that later in the day.

The Sensis business report also pointed to a lack of business confidence in the ACT government’s policies largely related to government-related fees and charges. I raised in the previous Assembly some of those punitive costs. Ms Cody is quick to point to the abolition of land tax in her motion. It was not abolished, it was simply rebranded. It evolved into rates.

In a speech in the last Assembly I did a comparison between a property in Forrest with an unimproved land value of $1.4 million and annual rates of about $8,200—we are talking about high-end, prestige property—and a block in Fyshwick, with a similar sort of value, $1.5 million, paying almost 10 times as much in rates at $70,700. That is $70,000 before they even open the doors.

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