Adjourned debate on second reading
(Continued from 27 September 2017)
The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (22:37): I rise on behalf of the Liberal members to speak to the second reading of this bill. It has been my privilege to have worked with the Hon. Mr Darley on the Budget and Finance Committee for a number of years. His forensic knowledge of valuation has caused much grief to some witnesses before the committee, on occasion. There is nothing like having a former valuer-general on the committee when you are questioning the current Valuer-General. To use a colloquial expression, I 'dips me lid' to the Hon. Mr Darley's greater knowledge in relation to issues that relate to valuations.
I am familiar with some of the issues the Hon. Mr Darley seeks to address in this particular piece of legislation. It is the Liberal Party's position that we will support the second reading of the bill, but for reasons which I will outline, if the Hon. Mr Darley decides to pursue it through to the third reading, we will not be supporting the third reading this evening. I will explain one of the reasons for that now. One of the questions I have, with the hat of shadow treasurer on, is what, if any, impact these changes might have in relation to revenue that might be collected for the state. The honest answer I have is: I do not know.
Before we were in a position to support the third reading of a bill like this we would want to get some evidence or some statement from the Under Treasurer or the Treasury as to what the potential budget impact might be—it might be very small—and at the closing of the debate of the second reading I would be interested in the Hon. Mr Darley's perception of that and what he thinks the impact might be. From my viewpoint, the honest answer is that I am not sure.
The other issue is that we would be interested in getting evidence from the Under Treasurer or the Valuer-General, or a combination of both—ultimately from the government—about whether there are any unforeseen consequences of what we are being asked to support here. The one thing that I am aware of in relation to issues of valuation is that as you make a change in one area there are potential implications in other areas. This might be a case where there are none, but before I and my party sign off on this at the third reading we would want to have had that evidence and be fully aware of what the arguments for and against might be.
The way the government generally approaches some of these debates is that we do not generally get a too-detailed response from the government to these sorts of private members' bills in terms of the arguments for and against and therefore I am not expecting that we are going to get a detailed analysis of the potential implications of the bill from whoever speaks on behalf of the government.
For those reasons, I indicate that the Liberal Party will happily support the second reading of the bill. As I said, if the honourable member does wish to pursue it through to the third reading we would be indicating that we will be opposing the third reading at this particular stage.
The Hon. M.C. PARNELL (22:41): I rise briefly to indicate that the Greens will be supporting the second reading of the bill. If the member were minded to move it through all stages, we would support the third reading as well.
The Hon. T.T. NGO (22:41): I rise to also support the second reading but indicate that the government will not be supporting the third reading.
The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (22:42): Firstly, I would like to thank all honourable members—the Hon. Rob Lucas, the Hon. Mark Parnell and the Hon. Tung Ngo. I can say that, from my understanding, the financial implications of the bill would be significant in terms of the fact that there would be 11,000 residents in retirement villages—and this is based on advice from the Valuer-General—who are currently being overcharged water and sewer rates to the extent of 770 per cent over what they should be charged. I suggest we put it to the second reading vote only.
Bill read a second time.