Page 106 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 8 February 2022
housing ministers highlighting the failures in the system and the lack of support that tenants face. Further to this, there are those who are facing potential homelessness, or who are already sleeping rough, and they genuinely lack support. For those who approach homelessness services in the ACT, more than 30 per cent are not having their needs met.
I will concede that there has been some movement in this space from a funding perspective, but there certainly needed to be because OneLink cannot accommodate everyone, and the long wait list for OneLink is evidence of this. I am told by constituents that they are often told, “We are really sorry, but we cannot help. We do not have anything for you,” which no person who contacts that service wants to hear. Then there is the issue of those who fall under the single father category, where there is little to no help available. Single mothers have more options here in Canberra, yet men escaping domestic violence and those who are single fathers cannot access the same help as women. I think their plight is extremely important.
Is this government doing all it can to ensure that there is enough to support those most vulnerable, or are they hiding under excuses and pushing the blame elsewhere? This government continues to neglect those in our community who are the most vulnerable and who desperately need their assistance. These reports continue to highlight the problem, and the lack of action is obvious. The housing strategy needs urgent review to ensure that it is effective and improving the problem, and not making it worse. Again, you do not have to listen to us on it; these calls are coming loudly from the ACT Council of Social Service and a stack of other people within the sector. I think the reality is that we would be hearing more and more from those in the sector if they were not genuinely concerned about the fear of some sort of retribution, because there is a long track record of this government bullying any individual or organisation that dares to tell the truth and speak out against them.
If the government can outline the exact details and time line of the commitments it made in the parliamentary and governing agreement, including exactly when the 400 additional public houses and 600 affordable rental dwellings would be built, that would be appreciated by all—certainly by me, certainly by ACTCOSS, and certainly by all those waiting. If the government cannot commit to those extra homes, they should at least allow the community housing providers who are calling out to help address the shortfall. The government can and should be doing more.
I was asked on the radio this morning by both Bayliss and Cenatiempo about what genuine chance there is that this motion will succeed in its original form. I honestly responded by saying that I thought it was a very faint hope. I said that I thought there was as much chance of it getting up as there was of the convoy protesters overthrowing the parliament today. Obviously, that is not an outcome that we are looking for, but I was hoping that we could get a positive outcome on this one.
We have seen the amendment, so we know that the government is saying no to this motion. We know that it is has basically been a knockdown-rebuild into Labor-Greens propaganda. Those members are not only rejecting this MLA’s motion; they are rejecting the ACT Council of Social Service and rejecting the thousands who are on waiting lists. They are rejecting the thousands who are experiencing problems with