Lobbyocracy Rules

Karl FitzgeraldCommentaryLeave a Comment

Taken from today’s LIberal Donors Win Big from Rezoning by Royce Millar:

The 100-hectare property was purchased as a bush block by the Carpenter family for $50,000 in 1967. Developer Watsons has estimated its developed value at up to $500 million.
Yesterday Parklea chief executive Andrew Facey confirmed being an enthusiastic Liberal supporter. He said he had contributed thousands of dollars to the Liberals ahead of the 2010 election, had attended numerous fund-raisers and was a member of Liberal fund-raising bodies including the local Berwick Ranges 500 Club. Last year The Age outed the Berwick Ranges among a string of such clubs that had breached electoral laws by failing to declare themselves to the Australian Electoral Commission.

Mr Facey also told The Age that he had given thousands of dollars – the exact amount is unclear but maybe $3000 – directly to the ultimately successful campaign of aspiring Gembrook MP Brad Battin.

The inclusion of Parklea’s property will allow the developer to transform farmland into housing worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

In NSW developers are banned from making donations to political parties.

This is a photo of the land in question.

Lobbyocracy is the hypocrisy of democracy. One Vote One Value has been replaced by One Dollar for One Decision! The Age online poll associated with the Millar article asks ‘Do you have faith in the State Government’s urban planning?’ 91% no, 9% yes.

The motivation for such legalised corruption is enhanced by our failure to tax the free lunch.

A higher Land Value Tax is a counterweight to naturally increasing land prices. Take two blocks of land. One paying no Land Tax, the other paying it. Over 20 years, a rational investor would pay the same amount in total.

We have been lured into believing it is better to pay mortgage debt and the 125 taxes we endure, rather than a simpler, less costly system. 70% of our tax revenue could be funded out of these naturally rising land prices.

Said another way, why pay banks 70% more than we should, when we can use that expenditure stream to remove the taxes that make things more expensive? That’s why so many government reports are coming out in favour of this more efficient tax base.

Such a system would also ensure that valuable prime locations are used for productive rather than speculative purposes, as our Speculative Vacancy Report next week will again highlight.

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