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Monday, 15 September 2003
Page: 19998


Mr HAWKER (1:46 PM) —Victorian country members will notice that the state Treasurer, Mr Brumby, has been making a lot of noise about housing for first home owners, the difficulties of the very high housing prices in the city and whether the Productivity Commission should be looking into this. I think you will find that he protests too much, because if you look at some of the facts you will find that the big problem facing first home buyers in Victoria is the massive rip-off in stamp duty. This year Victoria will earn over $2 billion in stamp duty, which is 130 per cent more than it earned in the days of the Kennett government. In other words, it has more than doubled.

When you look at the increase in the median house price over the last five years, you will see that the stamp duty alone has gone from $9,490 to $17,200—that is, not only has it gone up by this much; it is more than a first home owners grant. In other words, the state government is ripping people off for more than that amount. If you look at it, by any measure, stamp duty has now become one of the major state government sources of revenue, at 22½ per cent, which is twice the percentage it was five years ago. In fact, the Bracks government is now hugely dependent on stamp duty—and, of course, speeding fines. It is a pretty funny way to run a business or a state. It really comes back to my point about stamp duty. (Time expired)