Property Transfer Fees

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SpeakersSpeaker; O'Farrell Mr Barry; Keneally Ms Kristina
BusinessQuestions Without Notice, QWN

Page: 22714

Mr BARRY O'FARRELL: My question is directed to the Premier. Is she not being blatantly dishonest by claiming that her monster new property tax on homebuyers will fund six new security features on title deeds when the 2008-09 New South Wales Department of Lands annual report shows that these new features were introduced last July?

The SPEAKER: Order! Members will cease interjecting. The Premier has the call.

Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY: Acquiring a first home remains the great Australian dream. From that point forward security of that asset remains a great priority. This Government has been, and remains, a leader in both those areas of policy, which directly affect millions of families in New South Wales. The measures announced yesterday are a sensible approach to improve the security of the most important asset in people's lives.

Mr Barry O'Farrell: Point of order: I refer to Standing Order 129, relevance. The measures may be sensible, but they were done a year ago.

The SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat.

Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY: The greater the value of your asset, the greater the security risk and the greater the need for these measures. The Opposition is trying to paint this Government as unsympathetic to first home buyers. Where has it been? Over the past 10 years more than $6.77 billion has helped homebuyers in New South Wales get into their first home. We are continuing those stamp duty concessions. We are reforming planning laws. We are cutting red tape. We are slashing infrastructure charges. That is the real work to keep housing affordable in this State. The Opposition has opposed that work at every turn, such is its desire to see first home buyers squeezed out of Sydney unless they are from privileged backgrounds. While it is anticipated that the ad valorem fee will raise $80 million to $100 million, in the first seven months of this financial year alone first home buyers received $549 million in assistance. We are the party delivering real support to first home buyers, something that is lost on the Leader of the Opposition.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Willoughby will come to order.

Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY: Today he was out at Emu Plains trying to paint this fee as a slug to first home buyers.

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Wakehurst to order.

Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY: Yesterday the Leader of the Opposition stood in this House and said that this ad valorem fee was "slugging the average Sydney home buyer an extra $1,000". For that to be true the average house price in Sydney would need to be over $1 million. Before he tells the people of Emu Plains that this is a slug on them, he might check to find out that the average home price in Emu Plains is $389,000. Therefore, these measures have no effect whatsoever on those homebuyers. In fact, I am advised that 93 per cent of all residential sales in the Penrith local government area are not affected by this ad valorem fee. That is not just a majority, but 93 per cent of residential sales. The 3,542 properties that changed hands in the Penrith local government area in the past 12 months would not be subject to this charge. Of course, this measure would have an effect in his suburb of Roseville, in the electorate of Ku-ring-gai, where the median house price is $1.3 million. Now we see the true agenda.

Mr Adrian Piccoli: Point of order—


Mr Adrian Piccoli: That compliment is accepted. My point of order relates to Standing Order 129, relevance. The question was about misleading the Parliament yesterday regarding the justification for this tax. The Premier needs to google more often.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Murrumbidgee will resume his seat. He has been here long enough to know that that is not a point of order. The answer is relevant to the question asked.

Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY: He has not been here long enough to buy a new suit. Now we have the true agenda of the Opposition. It stands up for the battlers of Ku-ring-gai, the strugglers of North Shore and the victims of Vaucluse. The Leader of the Opposition talks about grassroots; the only grassroots about which he cares are the manicured lawns of Ku-ring-gai.

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Wakehurst to order for the second time. The House will come to order.