Question - Independent Living Units - Levying of Rates

Tuesday 31 May 2022, Question without notice


Ms ARMITAGE question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT


Regarding the proposed legislative changes enabling local government authorities to rate independent living units owned and managed by charitable organisations, can the Leader please advise:


(1) what consultation has been conducted to date with the public and with stakeholders?


(2) what themes, issues, and criticisms have been brought during the consultation process?


(3) when can the public and stakeholders expect to have access to fiscal modelling and analysis from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and if further consultation is planned to follow?


(4) to this end, whether the Government will consider extending the effective date of the grandfathering arrangement from 1 January 2022 to 1 January 2023?


(5) whether the Government will consider establishing a stakeholder reference group or similar consultation to ensure that those who will be affected by such significant legislative change will have ample means, time, and opportunity to engage with consultation processes and be able to provide feedback?


ANSWER


(1) The Government has consulted a range of stakeholders regarding the request from local government to amend the Local Government Act 1993 to allow councils to rate independent living units owned and operated by charitable organisations. Consultation has included multiple meetings with LGAT, the Tasmanian Council of Social Service, Aged and Community Services Australia, and Leading Aged Services Australia.


(2) Key issues raised during stakeholder discussion to date focus around the themes of compassionate and equitable treatment, differential rating and liability for rates.


(3) Once the Government has determined its policy the public and stakeholders will be consulted.


(4) This matter has been raised during consultation to date. Any grandfathering provisions will be part of the Government's policy response.


(5) The stakeholder reference group was established in 2021 to consider the issues prior to the Government consulting with the Tasmanian community. The membership of the reference group includes the Department of Premier and Cabinet, who is the Chair; the Local Government Association of Tasmania, Tasmanian Council of Social Service, Aged and Community Services Australia, Leading Age Services Australia, two representatives of operators and a resident group representative.

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