Page 1681 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 May 2017
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (12.05): I seek leave to make a brief reply to Mr Rattenbury.
Leave not granted.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Order of business
Ordered that order of the day No 1, executive business, relating to the City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency Bill 2017, be postponed until a later hour this day.
Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2017
Debate resumed from 23 March 2017, on motion by Mr Barr:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (12.06): The opposition will not be supporting the amendments in the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 relating to the Land Tax Act and the Rates Act 2004. These amendments relate to altering the calculation methodology for multi-unit dwellings.
This is just the latest round of rates hikes for Canberrans. The changes that the Labor government have proposed will result in considerably higher rates and land tax payable on units. By changing the calculation methodology, the average rates for an owner of a multi-unit dwelling will increase by an average of $150 in 2017-18 and a further $115 in 2018-19. These increases do not take into account the additional seven per cent rate increase applying to property owners under their ongoing tax reform.
We know that it will be considerably more than that for some apartment owners or unit owners. I believe it will be most aggressive on dual occupancy developments, especially those dual occupancy developments on land that has a high unimproved value. It is quite possible that some units on dual occupancy developments will see increases of several hundred dollars in one year alone. When you compound that with overall rate increases in the vicinity of seven per cent, we will see a real impost on many households around Canberra.
The amendment will disadvantage a large number of Canberrans at a time when housing affordability is an issue. The government have pursued a policy of increasing the number of people living in high density arrangements. The government claim that they want more people living in apartments. They claim to want a denser city; yet the policy that is embedded in this legislation goes against what their stated outcomes are. This policy is actually serving as a deterrent to more people living in apartments or