I acknowledge that the opposition supports the bill; however, just not in its current form. It is my understanding that amendments will be introduced at a later stage, and it is the reasoning for those amendments that I largely wish to talk about now. Whilst it is somewhat unusual for this place to recommend amendments to a budget-related bill, we believe our position to be justified, and many of those reasons have been outlined by my colleagues in both this place and the other place, in particular, the Hon. Robert Lucas.
Part of the bill I refer to is that which concerns the so-called car park tax, euphemistically labelled the Transport Development Levy, to be charged on every car park in the city via the landholders and to be passed on to the consumer, which is of course every single South Australian travelling to the CBD by car. For the government to say that this will not adversely affect business in the CBD is simply outrageous. All major industry groups are against this tax: Business SA joined the Property Council, Rundle Mall Management Authority, the Real Estate Institute, the Urban Development Institute and the LGA. The Premier's hand-picked citizens' jury is even against it.
Why would a government introduce a measure that is deeply unpopular? The reason is because they are desperate and they are financially inept, as I and many other honourable members on this side have talked about ad nauseam. The debt and budget have reached crisis point, the government's spending is out of control, and now they have to raise revenue in any way possible to bring it back to a sustainable position. This is such a ridiculous and ad hoc way of governing and managing finances, it is embarrassing. If the people only knew the extent of the mismanagement, would those honourable members be sitting on the other side of the council?
The introduction of this tax runs contrary to the government's message and platform to revitalise the CBD. On one hand they say, 'Come into the CBD. We want to encourage a more vibrant nightlife. We want more people living in the city, but we will charge you $750 a year to do so.' It is a bit rich, which is what you will have to be to live in a vibrant, revitalised Adelaide, apparently. This tax actually acts as a deterrent to city patronage.
The rhetoric from the government is that the money raised will be used to improve public transport to and from the city. Well, if that is true, why is only 8 per cent of money raised going to public transport projects, with the remainder going into consolidated revenue? It is nothing short of a con job. To conclude, I encourage members to support the second reading and to support the wise amendments of the Hon. Robert Lucas. This is another example of Labor governments who have been trying to make people equally poor for decades.