Page 1261 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.56): I stand to speak both as a member of the planning committee and as an MLA. I would like to start by saying that I am fully supportive of the statement from the chair of the committee, Ms Clay. Additionally, I would like to say that the crafting of that statement was the result of intense email discussion between the three members of the committee, and I think that that process is a genuine testament to the way that the planning committee functions.
I think it is an extremely collaborative committee. We are three MLAs from three different parties who have had to deal with dozens and dozens of issues and an extremely high workload, certainly in comparison to other terms, since we came together in the early part of 2021. I am really satisfied with the way that the planning committee is functioning. I wish that there were more hours in every day and more weeks in every month so that we could wade through more inquiries, because God knows there are a stack of things that we could look into. There are a stack of things that have been discussed that we would really like to get our teeth into, which brings me to the crux of this motion.
Mr Davis, of course, is not part of this committee. It is understandable that he could not possibly know the level of interest that this committee has already shown in the issue of Airbnb and its effect on housing affordability. Mr Davis has made some really good points about the housing crisis in the ACT, but they are not things that were not known to us and not things that were not known to most members in this chamber. The reality is that, if we had not been overloaded with so many other inquiries in the early part of this term, I think it is safe to say that we could probably have already launched an inquiry like the one that he is suggesting.
The motion calls upon us to do what we are already doing. That is what it does. It calls upon us to do what we are already doing, in that we have already considered this issue and we will continue to consider it. Ms Orr, in particular, has done the preparatory work which could lead us to, potentially, should the committee decide to, launch an inquiry into this matter.
I understand that Mr Davis wants to get his headshot in the paper—and great headshot the other day; I liked it. He wants to get his headshot in the paper and he wants headlines other than his referral to the Standards Commissioner. I would say that you are in good company there, my friend. I guess what I am saying is that we need to question what this motion is actually attempting to achieve. I find it remarkable that Mr Davis, in responding to Ms Castley’s motion, suggested that the motivation for Ms Castley’s motion was for a headline—a pot calling kettle black statement.
I used to think that I was a media tart. Before Mr Davis came along, I used to believe that I was a media tart, but it turns out that I am just a shy wallflower and Mr Davis is participating in every dance on that dance floor. To come in here and suggest that Ms Castley’s motion is about getting a headline—I mean, if anyone knows about that motivation it would be Mr Davis.
I also note that in Mr Davis’s speech he said, “Here in the ACT, with the Greens in government,” so Mr Davis acknowledges that he is in government. I am not sure that the referral of matters like this to a committee is necessary. I mean, if you are in