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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (5 September) . . Page.. 3163..


MS McRAE: It is a personal explanation. She should inform this side of the house of public works that are going ahead of schedule. When public money is spent, I believe that I would be in a much better position to offer supportive comments and welcoming comments if this Government had the honesty to inform people appropriately.

MR SPEAKER: Ms McRae, that was a well put together personal explanation. I commend it to other members.

MR WHITECROSS (Leader of the Opposition): I want to make an explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR WHITECROSS: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Stefaniak, in answer to a question by Ms Reilly, deliberately misrepresented some comments I made in the debate on Tuesday about public housing; and I want to set the record straight on that. Mr Stefaniak suggested that I was saying that public tenants had no problems with maintenance and that, therefore, there was some inconsistency - - -

Mr Stefaniak: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I was not saying that at all. I would ask him to withdraw "deliberately misleading" and to read what he has there and accurately quote me, which he is not doing. I said that only half an hour ago.

MR WHITECROSS: Before Mr Stefaniak interrupted I was explaining how I had been misrepresented, so that I could set the record straight. Mr Stefaniak created the impression that I had said that Housing Trust tenants did not have any problems with maintenance and that, therefore, there was some inconsistency between what I said on Tuesday and what Ms Reilly asked in a question today in which she suggested that there were problems. Mr Speaker, I will read one part from what I said on Tuesday which will make clear my position on this. I said:

All of us, I am sure, have had complaints from time to time about ACT Housing's treatment of individual tenants. No doubt, some of those complaints have been justified; but, overall, it is unquestioned that public tenancy is a much more pleasant experience for the tenants than private tenancy and whatever problems public tenants might have in getting maintenance done -

that does not sound like a ringing endorsement of maintenance -

on their properties would pale into insignificance compared to the difficulties lots of private tenants have in getting maintenance done on their properties.

That does not seem to me, Mr Speaker, like a statement that the public tenants have no problems.


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