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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 March 2017) . . Page.. 833 ..

community, Defence Force and international students. Sometimes people are posted overseas for a few months, the posting is then extended and things happen.

That is why, instead of putting forward a motion saying, “Introduce land tax on date X,” my motion is, in fact, calling upon the ACT government to investigate this problem, to work through the details, to get back to the Assembly with a solution that will be successful and with all of the complications of the property market accounted for. I would, however, point out that other states are successfully running land tax regimes which aim to tax vacant properties, not just rented properties. I am totally confident that the ACT government can do as well as other jurisdictions.

I understand that there are a number of amendments being moved to this motion but the positive thing is that all three parties in this Assembly are heading in the same general direction here. I am hopeful that as a result of today’s debate we will make a small but important step in improving rental affordability, availability and equity in taxation arrangements in the ACT.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (10.13): I appreciate the opportunity to be able to talk to this motion. Madam Speaker, I have circulated an amendment to Ms Le Couteur’s motion, which I move:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) the Victorian Government charges land tax differently to the ACT, where it covers all properties, with exemptions for properties that are owner occupied, used for primary production or charitable purposes;

(b) that the Victorian Government has announced changes that include a vacancy tax on properties that are vacant for six months or more in selected suburbs;

(c) that the Sydney and Melbourne property markets have seen aggressive investment by property speculators, which makes these markets different to the ACT;

(d) the complexity of accurately measuring the number of vacant properties in a jurisdiction;

(e) that improving housing affordability is a key priority identified in both the Parliamentary Agreement for the 9th Legislative Assembly and recent election commitments;

(f) that improving housing affordability for our community requires a multi-layered approach with a large range of responses and initiatives; and

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