Page 123 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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landlord, Housing ACT is required to manage tenancies in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, which outlines the responsibilities of tenants and the processes that need to be followed for addressing tenancy issues.

Community members are welcome to use the range of tools available to highlight and seek resolution to issues. In the first instance, they are encouraged to contact Housing ACT. For members of the Assembly, it would be preferable to engage via the Minister’s Office rather than publishing personal information.

Motion to take note of petitions

MADAM SPEAKER: Pursuant to standing order 98A, I propose the question:

That the petitions and responses so lodged be noted.

Housing ACT—Gordon—petition 44-21

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (10.02): I rise today to ask this place to consider the context in which petitions are brought forward during the remainder of this government. Paragraph 94 of the standing orders outlines the requirements for petitions. I would ask the Assembly to consider the requirements even further and whether a petition is the most appropriate mechanism to seek resolution in some matters.

The Community Services Directorate works tirelessly to support members of the community through the provision of public housing and specialist homelessness services working towards a home for all. The vast majority of social housing tenants successfully sustain their tenancies, and a well-defined process exists within the Community Services Directorate for the management of complaints from the community. When escalation does occur, the Community Services Directorate is required to follow a process outlined under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, just like any other landlord in the ACT, and this can take time.

I would also remind this place of the need to protect information, including the identification of land that is utilised for social housing. This ensures the integrity of the whole-of-government responses in achieving resolution for the community. The government does acknowledge that, where there are ongoing breaches of a tenancy agreement, this can have significant impacts on the community. The Community Services Directorate works closely with other government and non-government agencies in an attempt to provide a positive outcome for all involved. When members are attempting to assist constituents in resolving issues, I would really ask people to please contact our office to see how we can assist with that process.

This government is committed to a home for all within the Canberra community, and I would again ask that the Assembly consider whether a petition is the best way to resolve complex, sometimes very complex, matters.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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