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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3828..


PUBLIC HOUSING - SELECT COMMITTEE

Report - Government Response

Debate resumed from 5 December 2000, on motion by Mr Moore:

That the Assembly takes note of the report.

MR WOOD (12.16): Mr Speaker, in my comments on the suspension of standing orders, I made some reference to the reason for debate on this matter being resumed now. I will cover that only briefly. The government response Mr Moore brought down indicates substantial agreement with the findings of the committee but, as Ms Tucker pointed out the other day, a closer reading of the document shows that the government has really rejected key recommendations from the inquiry. If nothing else, Mr Moore ought to have come forward with an accurate statement of what the government was doing and not try to pull the wool over the eyes of any quick reader.

The key issue is security of tenure, though there are a number of other quite major issues. I realise that security of tenure is a vexed question, as I get coming through my office many people who do not have accommodation but qualify for it and are desperate for it. If there was greater throughput in Housing, I acknowledge that there would be movement for those people perhaps a little earlier than might otherwise be the case.

My consideration has led me to the conclusion that when you offer a person a house it becomes their home, and it is very difficult to throw such a person out after many years.

Mr Moore: We are not throwing anybody out, Bill. It does not say that, and you know it.

MR WOOD: I know those circumstances, Mr Moore. I admire what Housing is doing in encouraging pride of ownership with tenant of the year awards, tenant of the month awards, garden competitions - all those things. To get full benefit from those things, tenants need to know that they are assured of accommodation in the place they have.

In the last month, I have been in probably half a dozen Housing properties where families have been very proud of what they have done. A couple of times, happily not too often, I have been in Housing properties where the tenants have not been so responsible. You can see the pride people take in their homes and in their gardens. The 80 - year - old lady I visited on Monday last week still maintains a wonderful garden, and the inside of the house reflects the same pride. Ministers for housing should be very proud of what their tenants can do, as I am sure they are. But that lady needs to know that she has security of tenure.

Not a vast number of people would cause problems over time. In those circumstances the policy the government is pursuing, although understandable, is not exactly the right way to go. I would like to see them give a little more consideration to that stand - out issue, but also to quite a number of other important issues.

MS TUCKER (12.20): Mr Speaker, I will be moving an amendment because I believe the government response to the report of the Select Committee on Public Housing was unacceptable. This government has made a joke of the committee process. This is offensive not only to the parliament but also to the community, who took the trouble to


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