Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 9 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 2739..
DR FOSKEY (continuing):
As we know, there is no more need for that campaign tool, but the book remains. I must say it is a very fine book of coffee table quality with some very lovely photos and stories about the very interesting, very ordinary people who live in the long-stay caravan park, detailing in particular how important that accommodation has been to them in terms of their independence and, sometimes, survival. I commend the book to members. I am not sure whether you will get a free copy. I know that those of us who assisted the campaign did. We will find out.
As we know, the long-stay caravan park is going through a process at the moment to work out what kind of ownership they end up with. While the land swap is not entirely complete, the Chief Minister said with some confidence that it would occur. I hope that is the case. Whatever happens, the long-stay caravan park people have been pretty much promised that they will be able to stay as an entity.
I wonder what kind of legal formation might suit them. Last week I went to the national housing cooperative conference in Melbourne. I am a believer in cooperatives. Back in the 1970s, I was part of a group that set up Warm Corners Cooperative Ltd, which was a way of community settlement that gave people access to land and accommodation at a cheap price. That is what housing co-ops are all about. They are closely related to the community housing associations. Indeed, the conference that I went to was auspiced by the Victorian community housing organisation, a group that is expanding hugely.
Housing cooperatives empower their members. Members own, in a sense, the assets of the cooperative and they make decisions about the cooperative. Again, there were some great people at that conference, people who would not have been out of place at the Narrabundah long-stay park, people who are the sort of core and the heart of any community. I am not sure what kinds of structures are being considered by the government, but it seems to me that the long-stay caravan park would be quite well run as a cooperative.
To remind people of what cooperatives are about, we see less of them now in our society, but some of them are quite famous. Of course, there are the Spanish cooperatives—workers' cooperatives where workers actually have a great deal of say about the conditions of their work. It goes past unions and often workers own and share the assets of their work. Bega Cheese is still a cooperative. In fact, rural cooperatives are very common, or were very common, but, of course, if they are profitable, they are very much desired by corporations.
I have made some inquiries into the focus on cooperatives in the ACT. It seems to me there is a very small unit in JACS with that focus. I have certainly benefited from conversations with Peter Quinton, who is that unit, I believe, and I commend him for the work he does. I would be very happy to work with the government to expand cooperatives. I would like to put on the agenda that perhaps this is a structure that could be offered to the long-stay residents of the Narrabundah caravan park.
Camp Quality 2007 esCarpade
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (6.05): I wish to bring to the attention of members and the Canberra community at large the 2007 esCarpade for Camp Quality. The esCarpade