An Opposition push for the ACT government to bring forward residential rate rebates to support households during the COVID-19 crisis has been rejected.
The government's first coronavirus economic support package, announced in late March, included a $150 rate rebate for all Canberra homeowners.
Opposition leader Alistair Coe used a motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Thursday to call for the concession to be applied to homeowners' final rates bill of 2019-20, rather than in the first quarter of the next financial year - as the government had planned.
Mr Coe said some struggling Canberra households might have to wait up to six months from the date of the announcement to receive the "very modest sweetener".
He even suggested the Labor government had timed the concession to coincide with the start of the ACT election campaign.
"I don't think it is too much of a conspiracy, too outlandish to suggest that there is a correlation," he said.
Labor and the Greens banded together to vote down the proposal.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it was "more appropriate" to provide the rebate at the start of next financial year.
Mr Barr said it would mean the relief better aligned with payments provided by the Commonwealth, which started flowing through earlier in the year.
He said there would be "administrative complexities" in tweaking 170,000 rates notices to include the rebate in the final quarter of 2019-20.
He said the government had already provided urgent support to those most in need through other means, such as increasing energy concessions for some 30,000 households. It also provided a $250 payment to public housing tenants, he said.
In a statement following the vote, Mr Coe criticised Mr Barr for putting the proposal in the "too hard basket".
"Barr should be doing everything he can to help struggling families," he said.
"This should be a very simple and straightforward process of issuing a credit to families who have yet to pay or refund for those who already have," Mr Coe said.