Page 115 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 8 February 2022

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honest.” If he wants a civil debate, that is great, but he cannot then say, “You’re all pathological and you’re not honest.” Have it one way or the other.

It is an interesting debate. Mr Davis, in his defence of this, is trying to blame the federal government. Ms Vassarotti and Mr Davis said that the big problem here is negative gearing. He said it blocks thousands from the housing market. It is an interesting question because there are a lot of people that use negative gearing. Without it, I think there would be a significant shortfall in the number of people investing in properties that then are rented.

I notice that on the register of pecuniary interests Mr Davis and Mr Rattenbury both have investment properties. If Mr Davis is going to say that it is a terrible policy to have negative gearing and that the people who use negative gearing are blocking thousands from entering the housing market, I think it would be useful to clarify that they have not in any sense, at any time, used negative gearing on their property. If you are going to come in here and say, “This is what’s causing the problem; we rail against it,” you should not be negative gearing and calling people and the Canberra Liberals pathological.

At the same time, if it is the case that Mr Davis and maybe Mr Rattenbury are negatively gearing—the very policy that they say is blocking thousands from the housing market—it would be extraordinary. I hope that is not the case. I hope that Mr Davis can stand up here and say, “No, I rail against negative gearing. I think it is terrible that it blocks thousands and that is why my property at no stage has been negatively geared, and nor has Mr Rattenbury’s.” If he is not able to say that then it would be extraordinary. Should he come into this place and say, “The whole problem here is negative gearing; negative gearing is blocking thousands from entering the housing market,” it would be extraordinary, wouldn’t it, Madam Speaker, if the only two people using negative gearing and taking advantage of that tax benefit were Mr Davis and Mr Rattenbury? I would hope that that is not the case and I would hope that Mr Davis can reassure us that it is not the case.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (5.00): What a pathetic but predictable response from the minister in this amendment to the motion. I was always of the belief that we would see a knockdown-rebuild here and that the new version would just be another piece of Labor-Greens propaganda, and that is the case. Despite the ACTCOSS report—the ACTCOSS report would suggest that the current ACT housing strategy is failing—Minister Berry’s amendment basically says what every single amendment that she ever brings forward in this place says. It just says, “There’s nothing to see here. We’re doing a great job and we will continue doing it exactly the way that we have been doing it up till now.” The biggest reason we are in this space is that once, in another century, there was some property sold.

In rejecting this motion, the government have absolutely rejected me, as is the way in partisan politics—and I do not take that personally—and they have also absolutely rejected the ACT Council of Social Service. They have rejected every single person on the public housing waiting list in the ACT. How many people is that? As of the latest data I have, it is 2,992 applicants. That does not mean 2,992 people. That means 2,992 applicants—families, couples, individuals. That list has grown by 500

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