Business of the House

About this Item
SubjectsParliament: New South Wales; Law and Legislation: New South Wales; Parliament: New South Wales
SpeakersScully Mr Carl; Tink Mr Andrew
BusinessSuspension of Orders, Motion

Page: 10033

    Routine of Business: Suspension of Standing and Sessional Orders

    Mr CARL SCULLY (Smithfield—Minister for Roads, and Minister for Housing) [7.30 p.m.]: I move:

    That standing and sessional orders be suspended to allow:

    (1) Government Business to have precedence of General Business on Thursday 24 June 2004;

    (2) at this sitting—

    (a) the passage through all remaining stages of the Appropriation Bill and cognate bills, by putting the questions forthwith that these bills be now read a second and third time, without consideration in Committee of the Whole:

    (b) a member, upon passage of the Appropriation Bill and cognate bills, to move the motion "That the House take note of the budget estimates and related papers for 2004-05";

    (c) the introduction and progress through all stages at this sitting of the State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill, notice of which was given this day.

    I have briefed the honourable member for Epping about this matter. The House must discuss several items of business tomorrow so that, if possible, they may pass through the Legislative Assembly before the end of the parliamentary session—which we are rapidly approaching. I do not want to hold over the legislation until next session. That is why we have dispensed with private members' day tomorrow.

    As per advice to the office of the Leader of the Opposition and as per established convention, because the budget was delivered so late in the parliamentary session I think it is appropriate that we get the Appropriation Bill upstairs as soon as possible. I have told the Leader of Opposition Business that, as in previous years, we will allow a take-note debate on the Appropriation Bill in the next session. Every member of Parliament who wishes to do so will be able to make a speech about the budget, as happened last year. I understand that the Leader of the Opposition has been briefed on the State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill and that we are able to proceed to the second reading of the bill. For those reasons I commend the motion to the House.

    Mr ANDREW TINK (Epping) [7.32 p.m.]: For all the reasons that I have given in the past I object to the suspension of private members' day tomorrow. However, I am particularly concerned about that part of the motion that calls for the introduction and progress through all stages at this sitting of the State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill. Every member should be concerned about the incompetent way in which this legislation has been brought to the Parliament. The bill seeks to amend legislation that was before the House only recently. I have some leaked Treasury emails about how the original legislation came into being. It is a truly disgraceful sequence of events that calls into question whether the House can have any confidence in what any Minister at the table or any person advising him or her might say about this bill. On 6 May there was a Treasury email about the bill that is now law and that the State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill is seeking to amend. It said:

    Here is the final draft version of the Bill.

    Too late for changes now!

    A reply was received from Treasury the next day by way of email. Referring to the then State Legislation Amendment Bill, it said:

    This Bill incorporates yesterday's changes, has been approved by LegCo and is what is being printed to be wheeled into the House at 10 am today when I assume Gary West will read the speech on behalf of Egan.

    This means he will be in the Chair when debate resumes on Tuesday, and will be the one responsible for replying to issues raised by the Opposition in their speeches. Hope he is good at reading the hastily scribbled notes we will have to pass to him to give him the answers. This is where our briefs will come in handy to cover stuff we have not been focusing on in the Bill. Like why are renovations excluded when this means I can sell for less than I paid in aggregate for the property (because I overcapitalised into a falling market). This should not be taxed as there is no profit and the Treasurer said he was taxing profits. Our answer is? (Apart from fair point and it is a bit tough but too bad).

    I think we need for our purposes to have answers to political questions. As we are technically not in the Parliament in our seats the Minister cannot be forced to table our papers, only what we hand to him, which will generally be illegible anyway.

    Maybe we should discuss today to identify answers we might need not covered already …

    That is the type of incompetent cynicism that governed the legislation that the Government now seeks to change through the bill that will come before the House tonight. But it gets worst. On 10 May there was another run of emails. One stated:

    We appear to have been less than perfect in our drafting of Vendor Duty. We think that the transitional provisions clause (3) allows a building constructed at any time in the past to be deemed to be constructed on 1 June for the purposes of having 12 months to rent it out before Vendor Duty applies. Our intention was only to allow those buildings constructed in the last 12 months to have an extension of time for the rental period …

    Also I am advised that this morning we realised that we have not imported the age limitations from recipients of FHOGS—

    that is the First Home Owners Grants Scheme—

    into First Home Plus and we were supposed to. Under FHOGS grants cannot be claimed by those under 16 except with consent of the Chief Commissioner ….

    Can we prepare Government amendments to make these changes in the LA debate on this Bill tomorrow? We cannot make them in the LC as we argue it is a tax Bill and amendments of such a Bill can only originate in the LA.

    Treasurer's office also advise they want to ensure that where developers are required to provide low cost accommodation as part of the consent for a residential or commercial development they do not pay vendor duty on the sale of that low cost accommodation … I have not heard of this one before (and I am sure Cabinet has not either.)

    This is extraordinary. I do not know how Labor members put up with Egan coming into caucus from time to time with this garbage. They promptly accept it. It is time somebody stood up and said, "We've had enough." It is time somebody listened to the Property Council. It is time somebody listened to renters and to the little people—such as the migrants who are trying to help their children get a break. It is time to draw a line in the sand against the incompetence and cynicism that was behind the original legislation that we must fix tonight. The Government expects us to take it on trust that it will get right tonight in only a couple of hours what it got wrong and spent a month stuffing up! I am sorry, but I do not think we can trust this process to deliver the right outcome. We need time, which is why we must debate the bill properly. The final email states:

    This evening we noticed we may have inadvertently let people who buy off the plan on sell their entitlement free of VD [vendor duty]. This should not be the case but it is probably too late to fix. We have to run with what we have and put together a list of things it is feasible to fix by 22 June.

    I hope the Government has got it right this time. Goodness me, is it any wonder that property investors such as the Premier—who knows better than anyone the incompetence of his Government—have fled to New Zealand to make a safe investment? They could not make one here with these idiots running Treasury. [Time expired.]

    Question—That the motion be agreed to—put.

    The House divided.
    Ayes, 44
    Ms Allan
    Mr Amery
    Mr Bartlett
    Ms Beamer
    Mr Black
    Mr Brown
    Ms Burney
    Miss Burton
    Mr Campbell
    Mr Collier
    Mr Corrigan
    Mr Debus
    Mr Gaudry
    Mr Gibson
    Mr Greene
    Ms Hay
    Mr Hunter
    Mr Iemma
    Ms Judge
    Ms Keneally
    Mr Knowles
    Mr Lynch
    Mr McBride
    Ms Meagher
    Ms Megarrity
    Mr Mills
    Mr Morris
    Mr Newell
    Ms Nori
    Mr Orkopoulos
    Mrs Paluzzano
    Mr Pearce
    Mr Price
    Mr Sartor
    Mr Scully
    Mr Shearan
    Mr Stewart
    Mr Tripodi
    Mr Watkins
    Mr West
    Mr Whan
    Mr Yeadon
    Mr Ashton
    Mr Martin

    Noes, 35
    Mr Aplin
    Mr Armstrong
    Mr Barr
    Ms Berejiklian
    Mr Cansdell
    Mr Constance
    Mr Debnam
    Mr Draper
    Mr Fraser
    Mrs Hancock
    Mr Hartcher
    Mr Hazzard
    Ms Hodgkinson
    Mr Humpherson
    Mr Kerr
    Mr McGrane
    Mr Merton
    Ms Moore
    Mr O'Farrell
    Mr Oakeshott
    Mr Page
    Mr Piccoli
    Mr Pringle
    Mr Richardson
    Mr Roberts
    Ms Seaton
    Mrs Skinner
    Mr Slack-Smith
    Mr Souris
    Mr Tink
    Mr Torbay
    Mr J. H. Turner
    Mr R. W. Turner
    Mr George
    Mr Maguire
Mr Hickey
Mr Brogden
Ms SalibaMrs Hopwood

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Motion agreed to.