Page 4301 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Previously unit holders generally paid significantly less. For example, as my amendments to Mr Coe’s motion note, under the old method someone with a half a million dollar unit in the city paid $400 a year less in rates than someone with a freestanding home worth the same amount in an outer suburb of Canberra; for example, in a suburb like Charnwood. The government does not consider that that is fair or equitable, which is why we brought forward the changes. There are many great advantages to owning an apartment in the inner city but paying far cheaper rates than a family in a freestanding home worth the same amount in Tuggeranong or Belconnen should not be one of them.

The general rates and land tax calculations for multi-unit dwellings are now based on the total average unimproved value of the land rather than the AUV of the individual unit. For some property owners this change in methodology has resulted in a change in their rates liability and that is why the government has provided a rebate to assist with the transition. And it is important to note that, even after the methodology change, over 90 per cent of unit holders pay rates as if they were in the lowest two marginal rating categories. By way of comparison the average rates on units across the city is $1,352, compared with $2,295 on average for freestanding homes. That is a difference of more than $900 a year.

We understand and acknowledge that as a result of tax reform some Canberrans are paying more than they were previously. Other Canberrans are reaping thousands and thousands of dollars in stamp duty savings, and that is reflected in the mobility within our city. It may have escaped the attention of Mr Coe and indeed of other members of this place that 67,000 Canberrans lived in a different address in 2016 than they did in 2015. In the last year, 18.6 per cent of the population moved. Half of Canberra live in a different address than they did five years ago. There is a high amount of mobility in this city. People do move house and they do benefit from significant stamp duty reductions.

If this is not enough evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of tax reform in improving mobility—and, yes, of course renting is a component—is Mr Coe seriously arguing that no-one has moved house and bought a house in the ACT in the last five years? He is kidding himself. In the end, ultimately, if our policy was so unpopular the government would not have been re-elected at the last two elections on this tax reform policy. If it is so unpopular, if so many people are upset by it, the Labor Party would not be sitting on this side of the chamber. The Labor Party would not still be in government. If Mr Coe wants to run a third election campaign opposing tax reform, good luck to him. It has been so successful for the Liberal Party in the last two elections; if he wants to re-run 2012 and 2016, bring it on.

This tax reform is important. If Mr Coe’s dire warnings of no-one moving to Canberra were true, why is this the fastest growing state or territory in this nation? Why is our population growing so strongly if this government’s policies are so unattractive to so many people? In Mr Coe’s world view, no-one would be living in Canberra. This is where the facts and the evidence are so clear. Those opposite can continue this campaign of negativity. I welcome it. Great. Keep on opposing this reform. It worked so successfully for you in 2012 and 2016.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video