Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 18 July 1906

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) . - I move -

That there be laid upon the table of the Senate a return showing respectively, in those States in which returns are available, and in others, an estimate of the unimproved value of the privately owned lands of the following values : -

1.   Under£5,000.

2.   Over£5,000 and under£10,000.

3.   Over£10,000 and under£15,000.

4.   Over£15,000and under £20,000.

5.   Over £20,000 and under £30,000.

6.   Over £30,000 and under £40,000.

7.   Over £40,000 and under £50,000.

8.   Over £50,000 and under £60,000.

9.   Over £60,000.

Further showing the value of such estates owned by persons and companies absent from the Commonwealth.

I understand that there is no desire to debate this motion, but that the intention is to amplify it in some way.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - We intend to debate it.

Senator Millen - If the honorable senator moves the motion we can secure an adjournment.

Senator PEARCE - I understand that it may not be possible to obtain the information which I desire for the whole of Australia; but there are three States, at any rate - New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland - from which it should be possible to ascertain what I wish to know. In New South Wales the information can be obtained, because in that State there is a general tax on the unimproved value of privately-owned lands, and the information collected for the purposes of that tax would furnish the material for an answer. A record is kept in the Lands Office of all the assessments. In Queensland, although there is no State tax on the unimproved value of land, there is a land tax for local government purposes, based upon the unimproved value. In that State the local governing bodies would be able to furnish the necessary information. In South Australia there is a progressive land tax, based upon the unimproved value, and the assessments will be in the Land Tax Office there.

Senator Playford - There will be no difficulty in regard to South Australia.

Senator Turley - The information that will be obtained from Queensland will not be of much use.

Senator PEARCE - It will be an approximate guide. I quite agree that it may not be possible to get full returns in some of the States, but we should be able to obtain returns which will be of some value from them, whilst from other States we should get returns which will be of considerable value in enabling us to form an estimate, first, as to the extent of large estates, and, secondly, as to the operation of a land values tax on those estates.

Suggest corrections