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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 9 Hansard (24 August) . .

Page.. 3312..


The minister said she will adopt a stronger focus on the tenant experience; certainly, I can tell you, as I mentioned earlier, my in-tray is often clogged with the tenant experience; tenants approaching me with pleas for help, along with those from the general public, which is as frightening as it is disturbing. Let us contrast this with the auditor's report and the minister's picture of the situation. Here is a bit of a sample of people's pleas for help: broken windows and locks threatening the personal safety of vulnerable people; lice, vermin and feral animal infestations not attended to; internal water leakages and flooding that threatens personal safety of elderly tenants; rotted framework and leaking roofs; live wiring protruding from electrical switches; accumulation of rubbish and debris within public housing properties to the consternation of the neighbouring public; and, most of all, lack of responsiveness in regard to tenant request, with some forced to lodge the same request or complaint multiple times over lengthy periods. Some tenants are so frustrated that they go to the trouble of getting an independent assessment, and some tenants come to me saying they are at the end of their tether and are suffering extreme depression.

As the opposition, we do not want to be a part of this problem; we genuinely want to help to get to a situation where better outcomes are delivered. Tenants have a strong impression that the government is not listening and, worse still, that it does not want to listen. The sets of performance indicators displayed in the budget say that everything is hunky-dory, but I do not know that this is really the case. You certainly will not see any of these things reflected in the government's performance indicators or the auditor's report.

It is great to see that the minister has asked Housing ACT to talk with subcontractors and trade unions, although I wonder how the unions can solve the problem. We are told that the maintenance request for tender will be put to the market later this year, and this will be a very important process. No doubt the government will have a really good look at contract performance and service delivery requirements, but it should also have a good look at its own shortcomings and come forward with reforms in its own backyard where the contract will be managed from.

In closing, we hope the government will undertake an effective re-tender of total facilities management services that creates an outcome based on learning from past shortcomings. Most importantly, I hope the tenants and Housing ACT staff are consulted in shaping this outcome.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Tree Protection Amendment Bill 2017

Ms Fitzharris, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.36): I move:


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