The ACT's political war over tax reform continued to rage yesterday as formal negotiations began between the two main parties and the balance-of-power Greens.
Canberra Liberals' leader Zed Seselja accused Labor of planning to change its tax plans if it achieved government while Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said Mr Seselja was trying to walk away from the position he used to fight the election.
The two leaders met formally yesterday with the sole remaining Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury who will decide who forms government when the new assembly sits for the first time on Tuesday.
The Liberals leader, accompanied by his law and justice spokeswoman Vicki Dunne, met Mr Rattenbury yesterday afternoon while earlier in the day Ms Gallagher and her deputy Andrew Barr held their initial talks with the Greens MLA.
Mr Seselja said yesterday that whichever party took government next week, there would be changes to the reforms enacted in June's budget - with Greens' support - which look to abolish stamp duty during the next 20 years, moving much of the burden on to household rates.
''There is no way, if Labor gets another term, that they will be pursuing this tax reform in the way they've taken to the election,'' the Liberals leader said.
''They will adjust it, I have no doubt that they will have to adjust it because people will start to see the realities of very large increases in their rates in the coming years, so I think the Labor party having seen the swings we have in this election, will have to change it.''
Mr Seselja, who said on Monday there was ''room for discussion'' with Mr Rattenbury on the Labor-Greens tax reform, denied yesterday that he had made an about-turn, alleging he had been inaccurately reported.
''I haven't said that they were open to negotiation, what I've said is that if we can further ease the burden and that's not in any way backing away from the position that we reject the tax reform,'' he said.
''But we do not support the principle in any way, of shifting that massive burden from stamp duty and payroll tax and other taxes on to ratepayers and we've made that clear during the campaign and we're not going to back away from that position.''
But Ms Gallagher said Mr Seselja's position was ''confusing''.
''It's a bit confusing really, things that were said yesterday are being corrected and it shows the desperation of Zed Seselja in trying to pretend that what happened during the campaign didn't actually happen and the fact that he fought very hard against the Greens getting any sort of representation and that's the position that he finds himself in now,'' she said.
Ms Gallagher dismissed her opponent's theory that the reforms would be changed, saying she was committed to the 20-year tax reform agenda passed in this year's ACT budget. ''Mr Seselja does not speak on behalf of the Labor Party, he is not in Labor Party meetings, he is not involved in the formulation of Labor Party policy and he never will be,'' Ms Gallagher said.
More meetings are scheduled in the coming days between the parties and Mr Rattnebury.