Page 5081 - Week 13 - Thursday, 29 November 2018

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Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee


Motion (by Mr Rattenbury) agreed to:

That Mr Rattenbury be discharged from the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure for the meeting scheduled for 13 December 2018 and Ms Le Couteur be appointed in his place.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Gentleman) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted to Ms Cody for today due to illness.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Proposed reference

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (12.05): I move:


(1) this Assembly refers to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry and report by the last sitting day of April 2019, all issues relating to commercial rates in Canberra, including:

(a) the process for determining ratings factors;

(b) the impact of lease variations;

(c) how valuations are conducted;

(d) the amount paid by property owners; and

(e) the impact on leasing costs, property values and business viability; and

(2) the inquiry should hold public hearings and explore the effectiveness of the commercial ratings system and the impact it is having on businesses and the property sector in Canberra.

The Canberra Liberals are very much of the view that this government’s policy regarding commercial rates is having a detrimental impact on our community. Of course, it has a big impact on people who own commercial properties in Canberra, but also it has a very significant impact on people who lease commercial properties in the ACT because many rental or lease agreements simply pass on the costs associated with managing those properties or owning those properties.

Bills such as utilities, rates, land tax when it existed, and any other associated outgoings are very regularly part of the rental or lease agreement that must be paid by the tenant. Therefore, there are many businesses that signed up to leases some time ago that are feeling the full brunt of Mr Barr’s unfair rates and tax regime. In fact, many people who went into rental or lease agreements some years ago signed up at a

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