Ms DUNN (Eastern Metropolitan) — I rise to talk about the fourth report into rate capping policy and just to make a couple of observations in relation to that report. One is around exploring the issue of garbage charges in the City of Yarra, in relation to which we saw the Essential Services Commission, in a response requested by the Minister for Local Government, talk about the particular charge being considered for levy on its constituency by the City of Yarra as being not in the spirit of the law, which struck me as a most interesting comment — a new benchmark on which to test legislation in this state by talking about ‘the spirit’. I wonder when we are actually going to go to the ‘vibe’ of the thing as well, because the reality is it either complies with legislation or it does not. In relation to what was proposed it most certainly did comply with the laws as they stand now.
I thank Ms Hartland for attending the hearing on my behalf because I was busy at another inquiry that evening. The other thing I wanted to give commentary on is that I am not sure that everyone is in fact welcoming rate capping — and I note that the Greens were the only party to not support it — particularly if you are a farmer in Ararat, because you will find that you will be paying a lot more in rates at the moment because of the way that council have redistributed their rating across farming, industrial, commercial and general rates. There are winners and losers when it comes to rate capping, and truly it is communities who should determine the amount of rates they pay and the sorts of services they want for what they pay. I thank the secretariat too. They have done an extraordinary job. They have an enormous workload and produce very high quality reports, so thank you so much to them for their support too.
Motion agreed to.