Page 227 - Week 01 - Thursday, 15 February 2018

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Thursday, 15 February 2018

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee


MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (10.02): I seek leave to present two out-of-order petitions and move a motion to refer the matters raised to a standing committee.

Leave granted.

MR COE: I present the following papers:

Petitions which do not conform with the standing orders—Strata residences—Methodology for determining rates and land tax—

Mr Coe (76 signatures).

Mr Coe (5464 signatures).

I move:

That the papers be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in May 2018.

At its core, the government’s rates and land tax regime is unfair. This is a government that is desperately trying to squeeze Canberrans for all they are worth. In particular, with regard to apartments and units across Canberra, the government has had a massive push, trying to drive people into these apartments.

For years the government have been saying that we cannot have more urban sprawl. For years they have been saying that we cannot have more single-dwelling homes. This is despite the fact that they are reaping hundreds of millions of dollars from the sale of blocks. In response, developers and builders, in collaboration with the government, have constructed thousands of apartments across the city.

Many people chose to purchase these apartments in good faith. Part of the rationale for these apartments, and for densification in general, is that it is environmentally efficient, there are transport efficiencies, there are infrastructure efficiencies and there are numerous other benefits for a government with regard to the delivery of services.

It was a real blow to many Canberrans who bought in good faith when, last year, the government broke their end of the bargain. Last year, the government flipped the way that rates were calculated for units and apartments across Canberra. Rather than dividing the total property by the number of units and then making a calculation on

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