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Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Housing and Productivity Contributions) Bill 2023

Hansard ID: HANSARD-1323879322-131338

Hansard session: Fifty-Eighth Parliament, First Session (58-1)

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Housing and Productivity Contributions) Bill 2023

Second Reading Debate

Debate resumed from 23 May 2023.

Mr JAMES GRIFFIN (Manly) (10:17:26):

I lead for the Coalition on the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Housing and Productivity Contributions) Bill 2023. The Coalition agrees that we need to grow the supply of housing in New South Wales to address market pressures, but the new tax on housing proposed by the Minns Government is going to act as a disincentive on building and will not deliver the homes that the people of this State need. In consultation with stakeholders, we are very concerned about the fragmented approach that the new Labor Government is taking to contributions reform.

The Government has stated its commitment to reaching the housing target of 314,000 within the next five years and it is adamant about increasing the housing supply in New South Wales to meet the housing target. It is true that it has been difficult to meet housing targets in recent years. The best way to help first homebuyers enter the property market and to ease pressure in the rental market is to make it easier to build more homes. The bill does not do that. The message is clear: Measures that threaten housing investment have no place in trying to boost the total supply available to the market to address the pressures on renters and first homebuyers. A new tax is the last answer to boosting supply.

Housing and Productivity Contribution

I turn to the detail of the bill in its current form, as introduced by the new Government. Schedule 1 [8] substitutes division 7.1, subdivisions 4 and 5, which contained the special infrastructure contributions and special contributions areas infrastructure fund, in order to establish a new housing and productivity contributions scheme. Schedule 1 [1] to [7] and [9] make consequential amendments. The changes allow for the creation of a housing and productivity contribution. Under the amendments, a ministerial planning order made by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces may require a housing and productivity contribution from developers to provide for regional infrastructure. The Government outlined in the second reading speech, and in the material issued by the Department of Planning and Environment, that this contribution will apply a broad-based charge to the entirety of the local government areas located within the Greater Sydney, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, lower Hunter and Central Coast regions.

Housing and Productivity Contribution

Regional infrastructure is defined under new section 7.22 to include public amenities or public services, affordable housing, transport infrastructure, regional or State roads and measures to conserve or enhance the natural environment. However, the aforementioned document issued by the Department of Planning and Environment states:

The Housing and Productivity Contribution can contribute towards the following growth-enabling types of infrastructure:

Active transport






Open Space and conservation

Funds will also be provided to support councils in delivering infrastructure that supports housing and productivity.

In his second reading speech the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces indicated that as part of this policy the Government would make $1 billion available in grant funding to local government over 10 years. New section 7.24 outlines that the purpose of the housing and productivity contribution is to facilitate the provision of regional infrastructure that supports and promotes housing and economic activity. It specifies how regional infrastructure may be provided. The contributions imposed on development in a region must be used to provide regional infrastructure that benefits the region under new section 7.24 (5), except for where it is to conserve or enhance the natural environment. In such circumstances the contribution can be used in another region and even another State. Under new section 7.29 there is no connection required between the development subject to the contribution and the regional infrastructure required, except for a transport project component or a strategic biodiversity component.

I now turn to the ministerial planning orders. New section 7.26 outlines the requirements of ministerial planning orders, which must specify the level and nature of the regional infrastructure contribution; the components of the contribution, including transport project components or strategic biodiversity components; and other matters covered by the section. New section 7.27 requires that before making the order, the planning Minister must obtain the concurrence of the Treasurer. The Government has indicated that the new fund will be jointly administered by the Department of Planning and Environment and Treasury. New section 7.28 provides that if a ministerial planning order requires a housing and productivity contribution in relation to development, a consent authority or certifier must impose a condition on a development consent or a complying development certificate respectively for the development to require the contribution.

In Greater Sydney, the charge applied to new build houses will be $12,000 each and apartments will have a charge of $10,000 each. In the three regions outside of Sydney, the housing and productivity contribution will be $10,000 and $6,000 respectively. The funds can be spent on regional infrastructure, which includes public amenities, public services, affordable housing, transport infrastructure and measures to help the natural environment. The Coalition is concerned that this regime will act as a disincentive on building and will not deliver the homes that the people of New South Wales so desperately need. Even if developments proceed, these taxes will end up being passed onto the sale price of a new home, making the housing affordability pressures in the market even worse. At a time when Labor has abolished assistance for first home buyers through the First Home Buyer Choice legislation, a minimum $10,000 tax in the Sydney metropolitan area, and a minimum $6,000 tax, will only keep prospective first home buyers in rentals for longer, increasing existing pressures on the rental market because they will make homes cost more.

I now turn to the spending of funds in the regions created in the legislation. Two funds are proposed to be established for housing and productivity contributions in the Special Deposits Account. New section 7.31 establishes the strategic biodiversity contributions [SBC] fund, which is administered by the planning secretary and intended for conservation activities. The SBC fund takes payments relating to biodiversity components, money appropriated for that fund from Parliament, proceeds of investments into the fund and any other money that the bill or any other legislation directs to be paid into the fund. The bill allows the planning secretary to make payments from the SBC fund with only the approval of the planning Minister and Treasurer.

New subdivision 5 of the bill establishes the housing and productivity [HAP] fund, which is to be administered by the Secretary of the Treasury. The purpose of the fund is to support housing and promote economic activity in each region for which a housing and productivity contribution is required. In order for money to be paid out of the fund under new section 7.31D, it must be identified in a strategic plan, identified in a State infrastructure strategy or infrastructure plan, or recommended by the Minister. The ministerial discretion in this part of the bill is very broad, requiring the Minister only to "consider the infrastructure assists in achieving the purpose of the fund".

Schedule 1 [11] inserts savings and transitional provisions in relation to the continuation of special infrastructure contributions under the substituted provisions of the Act. The Government has indicated that the Bayside West, St Leonards and Crows Nest, Gosford City, Wyong Employment Zone, Warnervale Town Centre, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, and Frenchs Forest special infrastructure contributions will be transitioned on 1 October 2023. The Western Sydney Growth Area and Western Sydney Aerotropolis special infrastructure contributions will transition by 1 July 2026. Schedule 1 [1] to [7] and [9] make consequential amendments. Schedule 1 [10] enables contributions, including housing and productivity contributions, to be recovered as a debt.

Concerns have been expressed about the broad definition of "region" in the bill. Under the current system, special infrastructure contributions are matched to special contributions areas, which are often defined areas of infrastructure need. Under the bill, funding from a 20-unit townhouse development in Penrith could be used to build a bike path in Petersham. While funding is contained within the region in which the development is occurring, Greater Sydney is a very large region with diverse needs. There is a widely held community expectation that contributions from developments will be spent in the broad geographic region of that development. We note the concept of having the flexibility to invest funds in infrastructure in the areas that need them most, but we have severe reservations with the notion that areas in Western Sydney will be taxed at least $10,000 for each dwelling, and these charges could, instead of being used in Minchinbury, be used to support infrastructure funding in Marrickville. That encompasses why the Coalition opposes the bill at this stage and has supported referral to an upper House committee for further investigation into the proposal.

It is vital that we build infrastructure in the areas that have seen the fastest growth, and that money raised in developer contributions is more stringently tied to growth areas and the areas in which the charges are raised. The Coalition is not satisfied by the provisions in the bill for ensuring the sustainable spending of the funds in the HAP fund in the areas in which the money has been raised. When communities cannot be assured that the funds raised from those contributions will be spent in their communities, it proves that the proposal needs further development in the Committee stage in the upper House.

I now turn to the timing of the payment. In consultation with industry, a theme emerged around the timing of making the payment of the housing and productivity contribution. One of the key recommendations of the NSW Productivity Commission review into infrastructure fees and charges was that payments should be permanently deferred so that payment was made prior to the issuance of an occupation certificate rather than prior to the issuance of a construction certificate. A key argument of the Productivity Commission in 2020 in regard to section 7.11 charges was that the deferral of payment to the occupation certificate stage can provide a significant benefit and allow more development projects to commence.

During the early stages of the COVID pandemic, the former Coalition Government made the change on a temporary basis to have developer contributions made at the issuance of the occupation certificate. It was welcomed by the sector as a great success and should be the case moving forward. The legislation does not include those changes, and instead the contribution must be made prior to the issue of a construction certificate. The result of the payment being made prior to the issue of the construction certificate will lead to a reduction in cashflow at the earliest and most expensive stages of a project and could add pressure to builders who are already under immense cashflow pressures.

No developer would hesitate to make the payments in a timely manner when it will trigger the issuance of an occupational certificate and thus the realisation of what is typically 90 per cent of the cashflow for a project upon occupation and settlement. Typically, when the occupational certificate stage is triggered it also triggers the settlement of outstanding payments on a new home. The simple measure of moving the payment of the charge to a later date serves to cut red tape by reducing administrative workload and allowing the focus to be on delivering new supply as quickly as possible. The Coalition looks forward to hearing more from the sector on this point through the Legislative Council inquiry. I foreshadow possible amendments in the Legislative Council in regard to moving the payment of the Housing and Productivity Contribution to the issuance of the occupation certificate.

I move to the current conditions within the industry. Industry is crying out that this bill could be the straw that breaks the camel's back as it faces mounting pressures from rising interest rates, escalating material costs and other contribution charges that are required for new development. When similar measures were first proposed during the productivity review in 2020, interest rates were near zero. As we speak today, the cash rate sits at 3.85 per cent with the potential for further rises. Building material costs have increased astronomically, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics production price index increasing more than 12 points over time. Due to supply chain shortages making materials more expensive and harder to find in the first place, adding charges on top of the build of new homes is only going to make the entry of new supply into the market slower and more expensive.

In conclusion, industry is calling for comprehensive reform to deliver more homes across our communities. It is cautioning that piecemeal measures such as this may jeopardise new supply, and we urge the Government to rethink this singular measure. This tax does not address the necessity to build new homes faster and more efficiently or tackle the cumulative impact of contribution charges that the industry faces at present. Labor's new property tax will only act as a disincentive to building the housing our State needs. By slowing down investment in construction the only impact will be fewer homes being constructed and more buyers and renters searching for properties that simply will not exist. The Coalition will oppose the bill in this House due to its concerns about the impact that the contribution will have on supply. The core focus of the Government must be on building new homes to increase housing supply, not on passing new taxes.

Mr STEVE WHAN (Monaro) (10:31:51):

I start with a quote from the former Treasurer on this matter. He said, "This is government policy and what we've done is ensure that we implement the recommendations of the Productivity Commission." He goes on to say, "The Productivity Commission said this is the right policy for New South Wales. We're not going to apologise for investing in the infrastructure that will bring on new housing supply, because we want to support first‑time buyers being able to get their foot in the door." Former Treasurer Matt Kean said that in February this year when he was strenuously supporting this type of legislation and proposing it to the people of New South Wales. I was not here at the time, but I gather he also strongly advocated for legislation in a committee inquiry that looked into it.

It is really interesting that the former Treasurer is not in the Chamber talking about the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Housing and Productivity Contributions) Bill 2023. It was he who reinvigorated the Productivity Commission. I understand the member for Lane Cove was also a strong advocate for this legislation in his ministerial capacity. It is amazing to see this backflip from Opposition members, who are making a habit of forgetting the people of New South Wales and instead trying to work out the most politically opportune position to take on any legislation.

We have Opposition members talking about legislation that they had advocated for because it was recommended by the Productivity Commission review. It will enable a simplification of the developer contribution project and the targeting of projects that meet strategic planning priorities. It will also eliminate some old problems in areas that need larger infrastructure projects but cannot put the contributions together to achieve them. These are all very sensible things that the Liberal Party and The Nationals supported when they were in government, but in opposition they have flip-flopped and decided they are not for them.

Mr Paul Scully:



I acknowledge the Minister's interjection. There was a vague little thing about what might happen in the upper House. Does that not characterise the way the Opposition is going at the moment? It is a sort of maybe‑Opposition where differences of opinion are emerging within it and in its public positions. We are seeing a leadership vacuum. Yesterday Opposition members spoke in favour of protecting Sydney Water, but then some of them spoke in favour of privatisation in the same debate. They then split on the vote, with The Nationals voting against the legislation and the Liberal Party voting for it. That is the first time I can remember seeing that happen. They took a magic pudding approach on stamp duty. They wanted to have everything. They wanted us to spend an extra $700 million, but they were so confused about how to do it that they breached section 46 of the Constitution Act with their amendments. We have an Opposition that is in absolute chaos.

Last week they told us there was no Cabinet submission on Active Kids. Yesterday they told us there was. What we know is that there was not even a Parliamentary Budget Office submission on it to put the money in the forward estimates. That is just another bit of dishonesty, as we see constantly from Opposition members. They say that they were going to fund things but they did not include them in the forward estimates because they wanted them to look better. Before the election they had a strong, principled position on the Voice. After the election they said, "Oh well, maybe we'll just wait and see what's politically opportune for us." It is becoming a habit of this Opposition to roll in here and adopt a new position a day. They have no leadership, no direction and no principled position on any of the legislation coming forward. They are just the "no-alition" like we see in Canberra as well.

Mr Paul Scully:

The "maybe-alition".


Or the maybe-alition, as the Minister correctly interjects, because who knows? Members opposite might change their minds. They might split on this vote as well. They might come in and say, "But hang on, before the election I strenuously advocated for this reform and said it was a good idea." Before the election they were apparently concerned to make sure that New South Wales got revenue from developers to enable us to build important infrastructure to service growing communities. What do we hear so often from growing communities right around New South Wales? I know members would hear it in Western Sydney as I do in areas like Googong in Queanbeyan. They want infrastructure rolled out at the same time as residences. It is part of what attracts people to build in areas and live there. This important legislation will do that.

The bill will assist us to fund some important infrastructure. It will put in place important protections to ensure that we do not have the sort of dodgy stuff that we saw when those opposite were in government and their favourite area or an area held by them rather than Labor got the money. To quote the Minister, the bill makes it clear that the fund "will target projects that meet strategic planning priorities, including local housing targets; can be delivered in a reasonable time; and are aligned to agency asset management plans to ensure delivery agencies are geared towards growth infrastructure."

Mr Paul Scully:

An excellent quote.


I thought it was very good. This is really important legislation. It provides the people of New South Wales with some certainty that developer contributions will help them get the infrastructure they need. It does not take money away from local councils because they will still have their infrastructure contributions. That is an important point. It blows me away that Opposition members are completely backflipping on the public position they took for a year from the moment the Productivity Commission report came down and in the lead-up to the election. Instead they see some political advantage in banging on in a partisan way and being the no‑alition. We have been here less than three weeks and we are coming to expect this from the rudderless mob opposite. They have no policy positions and no principles. They just bang on about whatever they think will get them a line in a paper or a little bit of cheap political benefit. They are doing it again today. They did it on Active Kids, on the Voice and on the Sydney Water bill. In fact, we saw this amazing bit of chaos from the Opposition yesterday with their amendments to that bill, which The Nationals were strongly supporting.

Mr Alister Henskens:

This won't get you in Cabinet, you know.


The member for Wahroonga should listen to this.


The member for Wahroonga will come to order.


On my reading that would have actually made it illegal for Griffith to get its water supply out of a privately owned channel.


The member for Wahroonga will cease interjecting.


It was just a bizarre set of ill‑thought‑through amendments from an Opposition that is all over the place. It really is a sample of the chaos and lack of leadership from the Opposition in this place. The people of New South Wales observing it will see right through it for exactly what it is. I strongly endorse the legislation.

Ms LYNDA VOLTZ (Auburn) (10:40:33):

I also support the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Housing and Productivity Contributions) Bill 2023, which will deal with a key bottleneck in infrastructure with a simple and modest charge levied across a broader base. It will support the provision of the roads, railways, parks, schools and hospitals that large housing developments need to function. The reality is that, over the past decade, members on the other side of the Chamber have dropped the ball in regard to the infrastructure that needs to go with those large housing developments. Every member of Parliament that comes from a growth area will come into this Chamber and talk about the schools, the schools, and the schools that those opposite failed to provide.

Carter Street Precinct, which was in my electorate before the election, is half a square kilometre and double the density of Woolloomooloo and Potts Point. I think there are about 8,000 dwellings. Members on the other side of the Chamber put Carter Street public school in the master plan over a decade ago for all those dwellings. Not one space was available in any public school in that precinct. Not one, and they whacked 15,000 more people there. Had they put one cent towards building Carter Street public school? The answer is no. I heard the member for Manly in the Chamber saying, "Well, we don't know if the money is going to Minchinbury or Marrickville." The legislation makes clear that it goes to the regions where the growth is happening. But we know that it would not go to Minchinbury or Western Sydney under members on the other side of the House, because our schools have been left behind time and again.

In Wellington Road in Chester Hill they handed seven large quarter‑acre blocks over to developers to build developments on. They took two housing department blocks and put 37 apartments in. In that street alone there are another 200 dwellings. A lift for Chester Hill station was fourth priority a decade ago, but it has not been done. Their priorities under the Transport Access Program were Darling Point, Mosman, North Sydney and Taronga Zoo. Not one red cent has gone to Chester Hill and Western Sydney, where the workers come from and where the growth in housing is actually happening. The three electorates where the most housing is going are Parramatta, Granville and Auburn. Members opposite have spent absolutely nothing in those areas. The bill is giving us a capacity to do what they should have done. A good example is the metro. What does their Metro West do? Did members opposite put a metro stop at Silverwater, the biggest employment precinct in that part of Western Sydney? No, but they have put stops at the racecourse and the stadium.


Order! Opposition members will come to order.


That is where they have put the stops, not where the workers are. I understand why the members on the other side, given their poor performance in question time yesterday and their poor performance during debate on legislation yesterday—they have lost all their staff so they have no‑one to tell them how a legislative amendment works—want to arc up and cover up for their own failings. The bill has important conservation offsets. I bet the member for Wollondilly has a long list of local residents in her area concerned about koala habitats that have absolutely been carved out. The previous Government said, "Well, we'll leave a few trees around the edges," as if that is the way koala habitats work. Those opposite put the housing in with none of those offsets and considerations. The roads are a disaster. Hill Top is in the member for Wollondilly's electorate. Members should ask the residents of Hill Top how good their roads are there.

It is an absolute disgrace that members opposite come into this Chamber and start talking about this legislation, which they previously supported, after what they have done to the budget in New South Wales. I thought there was a Fiscal Responsibility Act in New South Wales. I thought that Act prohibited the Government from using borrowings to pay for recurrent revenue, including wages. But what did members on the other side of the Chamber do? They ran up billions and billions of dollars of debt outside what the Act allows, using it on recurrent revenue and to pay wages. In the meantime, they did not build the schools. They did not build Carter Street public school. They had to be forced to build Wentworth Point high school. They cut the funding for Birrong Boys and Birrong Girls in half. They cut the funding in half for some of the most important schools in Western Sydney. They did not cut the funding in half when it came to Mosman High School or Ku-ring-gai High School. They cut the funding in half when it came to western suburbs high schools. It is a disgrace.

The bill is an important piece of legislation that will allow the Government to deliver, where housing growth is happening, the services that mean growth can happen quickly and in a meaningful way. It replaces a complex system of contributions by developers with a simple, straightforward one‑off payment. Everyone has recommended it, including members on the other side of the Chamber. The legislation is very supportable. It should be supported. It is a disgrace that members opposite have come into the Chamber disrupting debate and yelling at members who are just trying to get what any person would think are the best education outcomes for our children, who they seem to have absolutely no regard for.

Mr MARK COURE (Oatley) (10:46:34):

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Housing and Productivity Contributions) Bill is nothing more than a property tax. In Campbelltown it is the Greg Warren property tax. In Auburn it is the Lynda Voltz property tax. In Blacktown it is the Stephen Bali property tax. This is nothing but a new big, bad tax—another tax under this Government. We on this side will oppose it today. We will continue to oppose it all the way to the ballot box. Labor's new property tax is going to act as a handbrake on the delivery of more homes across Sydney and across New South Wales, potentially adding millions of dollars to new developments.

Labor's new tax will be a cost passed on to working families and consumers. All they want to do is buy their dream home. All they want to do is buy their first property. In the electorates of Blacktown, Campbelltown, Heathcote, South Coast and Wollongong, Labor's new property tax will only act as a disincentive on building the housing our State needs. The impact of slowing down investment in construction will be fewer homes being constructed and more buyers and renters searching for properties that simply do not exist. We need to take the handbrake off new development. We need to provide incentives, not new taxes and not more pain. We need to make it easier for working families across New South Wales.

Mr Greg Warren:

I'm going to enjoy this.


I am glad the member for Campbelltown is. In Greater Sydney the charge applied to new‑built houses will be $12,000. Young working families are going to be charged $12,000 more for the purchase of a new home. Those purchasing apartments will be charged $10,000 each. This is nothing but a big bad Labor tax, and Opposition members will continue this campaign in my electorate and the electorates of members opposite. We will make sure that every person in New South Wales understands, before they get to the ballot box in four years, that Labor has put another big bad tax on working families. That is why we are opposing this legislation. The Coalition is concerned that this regime will act as a disincentive to building and will not deliver the new homes that the people of New South Wales urgently need. Even if developments do proceed, the taxes will just end up being passed on in the sale prices of new homes and apartments, making housing affordability pressures in the market even worse. Opposition members oppose the legislation today and will oppose it in the future.

Mr GREG WARREN (Campbelltown) (10:50:25):

I am delighted to make a very short contribution of around 15 minutes to debate on the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Housing and Productivity Contributions) Bill 2023.

Mr Alister Henskens:

Why isn't he in Cabinet? Why isn't he a Minister?


I will get to you soon, son. I refer to the member for Oatley. Strewth, hasn't he learned not to say anything? Crikey. Every time he speaks he ends up in trouble, and he has just done it again. But don't worry; we have four years to slow roast you, mate. I am your caterer; don't worry about that. I speak on two points, and I will come to the legislation later in my contribution. I commend my friend and colleague the Minister for putting a lot of work into the bill. Ultimately the motivation for the bill is the fundamental Labor principle of ensuring that investment goes where it is needed. Government members want to see investment going to developing communities so that they can enjoy the good lifestyle that existing residents have enjoyed.

New developments in green space or redevelopments in brown space mean new residents moving into an area or moving from one area to another, but we must ensure that future residents enjoy the good lifestyle that existing residents enjoy. That sounds very basic, but ensuring that a government provides resources, facilities and infrastructure by investing in communities is a basic fundamental. That will happen only through legislation like this, which only a Labor government understands because it understands the needs of the people in west and south‑west Sydney and the developing areas. Whether it is in Cootamundra, Campbelltown, Ballina, Byron Bay or the South Coast, Labor members want to see investment going into communities so that they get—

Mr Paul Scully:

Those students up in the gallery would love it.


I bet they do. G'day, students. Welcome to the Parliament. I am not sure where they are from, but I am sure they will let us know.

Mr Mark Coure:

Don't scare them off with this big bad tax!




I apologise in advance for those opposite; what the students will see will be remarkable and startling. But that is the New South Wales Liberal Party over there, otherwise known—

Mr Alister Henskens:

The only remarkable thing here is how big the tax is. All they want is a home; all they want is somewhere to live.


Order! The House will come to order. Members will set a good example for the students.


I do not actually know who that member is. But Opposition members are otherwise known as the lightweights of New South Wales politics—the irrelevant, unforgivable individuals who simply have no idea what they are talking about. But I go back to the bill, and I apologise for drifting off there.

Mr Alister Henskens:

It happens a lot. Just keep drifting, just like your Government's policy agenda.


At the end of the day, investing in developing communities is so important. Members opposite can heckle and carry on all they like because we know that they do not care about communities. Campbelltown, Leppington, Wollondilly and Heathcote show how much they do not care. We know that because they had 12 years to show us and they put profits before people. We have $187 billion of debt, and the interest alone is $7 billion a year, every year. The police budget is around $6 billion a year, but because of the inadequacy and mismanagement by those opposite, the people of New South Wales will be paying $7 billion every year. There is an $11 billion deficit. Each and every member, particularly the new members in this place, should think very carefully about what a government could do with that money. Look at the schools, the hospitals and the staff—or even narrowing it down to environmental protections, footpaths and public transport. It is an absolute outrage; it is unforgivable. The highest debt and the most mismanaged budget in this great State's history are the legacy of the Liberal Party and The Nationals of New South Wales. What an incompetent bunch—an absolute disgrace to this economy.

Mr Alister Henskens:

Which part of the $50 billion that we spent on COVID would you not have done?


How many billions did they waste? The mob opposite could not run a bloody chook raffle. Seriously, I would not trust those opposite to run my bath.

Mr Ray Williams:

Point of order: I am not sure what the standing order is, but I remind the member not to use unparliamentary language in front of the young students in the gallery. I welcome them today. I am sure they are here to listen to a little bit of worthwhile debate, although unfortunately they are not getting any at the moment. They do not deserve the profanities that are included in the debate.


I thank the member for Kellyville. I uphold the point of order and remind the member for Campbelltown to use parliamentary language, particularly in the presence of students in the public gallery.


I always do, Mr Assistant Speaker. Being lectured by the member for Kellyville on ethics is like being lectured on human rights by some foreign dictator. Back to the bill, the reality is this legislation is long overdue. It could only be done by a Labor government and a Minister with the courage and the will to do what we all know needs to happen. I note that those opposite are opposing the bill, and that comes as absolutely no surprise. I refer to my previous comments about their mismanagement of the budget and the debt that they have left us. Do they expect us to do nothing? We will certainly not do what they did, which is sell everything off, mismanage every project in New South Wales and leave the highest debt in this great State's history. That is the legacy of the New South Wales Liberal Party. The Opposition stands for profits before people, while the Government will put people first.

Government members understand that we do not own the money. We might control it but it is not ours; it belongs to the people of New South Wales. That is what Opposition members do not get. They also do not get the enormous amount of debt that they have left on the shoulders of the people of New South Wales, which they have to pay for. Why should the people of New South Wales pay for the failures and the mismanagement of the New South Wales Liberal Party? What a pack of turkeys. I would refer to them as galahs, but I would not want to offend our native Australian parrots. As usual, the member for Oatley makes no sense. He probably should not speak because he ends up in trouble every time he does.

Mr Paul Scully:

Interjections are not his thing.


Yes, I know. But the reality is we are seeing investment back in the communities where it needs to go, for the right reasons, in the right way. That is what this piece of legislation does. Again I note those opposite are not supporting the bill: no surprises there. But I say to those opposite, do you know what? Do not support it. That is a matter for you. But what you are saying to the people of New South Wales is that you continue not to care. You do not acknowledge your failures and your mismanagement. Let me give you a news flash. I will do you a favour. I will remind them for the next four years and I will cater for them. Do not worry: We will slow roast this and serve you up, and display you for everything that you have done and everything that you do. By objecting to this bill, it is yet another indication of how out of touch you are and how you are in your rightful place on the Opposition benches.

Debate interrupted.