Normally, if your house is heritage-listed, you have a problem if you want to knock it down, or renovate it. Robert Masters of Gunbower in northern Victoria is happy to leave the home his great-grandfather built in 1863 exactly as it is. The very fact that another arm of Government, the Department of Sustainability and Environment, has decided to list the old house on its heritage register, does tend to suggest the family have been good custodians. As Masters says, the old place is still liveable. They've always looked after it.
shorts Nanny State Property Rights According to the Weekly Times three generations of the GST is a massive fat tax not your house. the Masters family ‘have Julie Novak not your land. turned their ancestral home M Richard Allsop into an oasis surrounded by any public health activists claim that a tax on a lush garden containing 150 N fatty food is necessary to tackle obesity. ormally, if your rose varieties, ancient fruit The critics of this fat tax idea point to house is heritage- trees and neat rows of chook a number of studies revealing the limitations of such listed, you have pens and well-maintained a scheme. A 2005 US study of a 10 per cent fat tax a problem if you want to buildings’ and also raised 28 on dairy products found that it would not lead to a knock it down, or renovate children in the old house. significant reduction in fat consumption. A 2006 study it. Robert Masters of Gun- There is some dispute presented at an agricultural economics conference in bower in northern Victoria about whether a lease signed Australia found that fat taxes to finance nutritional edu- is happy to leave the home in 1987 can be extended to cation program may actually increase fat consumption. his great-grandfather built in the next generation of the However, those supportive of an evidence based 1863 exactly as it is. Masters family, but any sen- policy stance usually want more than just the recitation So where is the prob- sible conception of property of academic studies modelling the hypothetical impact lem? The problem is Parks rights would assess that the of policy change. They are after information about the Victoria, which is evicting Masters have a better claim effects of policies implemented in real life. the Masters family from to the site than Parks Victoria Most governments around the world have been both the 1863 heritage-listed does. sensible enough (so far!) to avoid such a discriminatory, house, and a second 1950s No-one could seriously onerous tax regime. Except for Australia, that is. residence. believe that a Government In order to secure passage for its tax reforms, fresh
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