Page 1598 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022

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Then, obviously, we have our own commitments that we are pursuing under the parliamentary and governing agreement. Combined with the renewal program, we will see the biggest improvement in both the quality and quantity of public housing in the ACT, really, since the city was formed and the commonwealth built a lot of housing in a hurry, when major public service departments were being relocated into the ACT in the 1940s, fifties and sixties. So it is a generational shift. It is an exciting opportunity, but there is a lot of hard work ahead. I know that Minister Berry and Minister Vassarotti are working well together to deliver on this outcome for the people of Canberra. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (3.13): The Canberra Liberals will not be opposing this motion. When I leave this place, either when I make the decision to retire or when the voters of Brindabella decide that they have had quite enough of me, one of the things that I will be able to say to people is that I spent time in the Assembly with the great ideas man, the amazing political genius, Johnathan Davis. I do not know; is it just me or does it seem that all of the great ideas in this place, pretty much every single one, come from Mr Davis?

We had a motion the other day calling upon the planning committee to consider something that it is already considering. We have a motion today calling upon the Assembly and the government to do what they are already doing. None of this is new, and the Assembly, along with all of the three parties in it, has been pushing, in different ways, for years to get the federal government to waive the long-term housing debt. I wonder why we are even debating it.

I am trying to think of some other things that Mr Davis could bring to the chamber in motions in coming weeks. I am thinking he could bring in a motion calling upon the government to build a high school in Kenny. How could they refuse? You would have to build it. You would have to build it, and then, when it is opened, Mr Davis can say, “How good am I? Look at this. We’ve done it.” It is not too late to take credit for light rail stage 2A. Perhaps Mr Davis could bring in a motion calling upon the government to construct light rail to Commonwealth Park and a separate motion the following week calling upon them to raise London Circuit.

I think this is a fascinating motion because what it says is: “I’m a part of the government which is”—according to the words in the motion—“absolutely failing on the housing front.” Mr Davis, who is a part of the government, outlines how dire the housing crisis is that has affected the ACT. He, like me, grew up in public housing. Me and Mr Davis and Mr Albanese, we have had that same shared experience. The motion then says, “I know that my government has already raised the long-term housing debt with the incoming federal government, but I sort of want to make it look as though I’m the one responsible for doing this.” I do not really understand it.

So we support the gist of the motion, we absolutely support the gist of the motion, but I just do not understand why it is here. The motion, in its text, concedes that the government are already doing what Mr Davis is calling upon them to do. In September 2019 the Chief Minister and Minister Berry wrote to the Prime Minister and federal housing minister to wave that $115 million debt. That is on the record.

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