Page 1985 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022

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There is a reason why my motion did not include a time frame. Knowing that it is federal land, there is a reason why my motion said, “Let’s write to the parties. Let’s write to the federal counterparts to get this release.” I have put in my motion no time frame to say, “Release it for sale right now,” and there is a reason for that. It is actually quite distressing that every single time we stand here it is: “It’s not that easy, Ms Lee. Don’t you know it’s not that easy?”

Whilst I do not agree with everything that is in the amendment, we are not going to oppose it because, as Ms Berry indicated, she does support the intent of the motion. I will point out just one final thing, though. Whilst there has been so much talk of collaboration, cooperation and working together from all on the Labor side this whole sitting period, I note that Ms Berry has scrubbed my calls to make sure that we express, in a tripartisan way, our support for urging the federal government to release this land.

It does not matter to me who writes those letters. If Ms Berry wants to write to Senator Gallagher and get this released—if she can get it done—that is great. That is in the best interests of Canberrans. But I do note that it is quite cheeky to spend this whole time saying, “Hey, let’s work together and be collaborative,” and then just scrub any mention of the fact that this is tripartisan support in terms of urging the new federal government to release this land to the Canberra public for housing.

At the end of the day, I think one thing that we all agree on is that we are in a housing crisis. What is also very clear is that the factors that are in the control of the ACT Labor-Greens government they have failed to exercise. We know this because 243 hectares of the CSIRO Ginninderra site will be enough for at least 2,000 average blocks. Compare that to the ACT Labor-Greens government’s own indicative land release program over the next five years, at just 4,171.

We know where this ACT Labor-Greens government stands on this. I was heartened to hear Ms Berry, after she sought leave, say, “Yes, we are going to consult.” I think that Mr Cain’s point is that it does not have a good record. So he has every right to feel concerned about how that will play out. I am sure that he—and, I am sure, Ms Clay—will be making sure that the government does indeed undertake that thorough community consultation for all of the constituents around that area.

Just on a final note, it is baffling that Ms Clay attempted to draw a comparison between the election result federally and a specific policy. It is just baffling to me that you would draw on one policy and say that that is exactly why you did not get elected. It is just baffling to me, but anyway.

At the end of the day, we are not opposing this amendment. I would like to see this land released for the Canberra public. It is about making sure that we give Canberrans genuine choice when it comes to housing. We have not seen that from the ACT Labor-Greens government. If this can go some way, a big way, to making sure that we deliver that for the Canberra public then that is a good thing. I certainly will be making sure that this ACT Labor-Greens government, in all of its spruiking about how much easier it is going to be to work with the federal Labor government, will be able to get this done. Let us get it done for the Canberra community.

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