Page 2450 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022

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The Canberra Liberals also understand that renting is preferable for some and a necessity for others. That is why today I am announcing a new shadow portfolio of housing affordability and choice, which I, as leader, will take responsibility for. I commit to doing everything that I can to ensure that housing affordability and choice are within the reach of every Canberran.

The five key priorities for me in this new portfolio will be: a sustainable and measured approach to land release; a review of the impacts of the rates regime on affordability; adequate support for Canberra’s skilled workforce who will build the homes that Canberrans need; ensuring that the planning system is working for the community; and boosting community and public housing.

There is much to do in this space, and I look forward to initiating further discussions on this in the coming months.

The creation of a shadow portfolio alone will not fix the huge problems we face in housing—the huge problems created by over 20 years of this Labor-Greens government. But it is an important signal to the Canberra community that we, the Canberra Liberals, are absolutely committed to addressing the housing affordability crisis and supporting every Canberran to buy or rent a home. The Canberra Liberals are the only party in this place committed to addressing housing affordability and choice.

As I come to close my budget reply, I say this: every election is about choice, and it is incumbent on the Chief Minister to not take his position for granted. To be elected by your community, to be their voice in representative democracy, is an enormous privilege. And to be elected by your colleagues in the party room to be leader is an extraordinary additional privilege. It comes with responsibility, humility and the will to serve.

Although we do not face an election for another two years, my message to Canberrans from all walks of life is clear: Labor and the Greens have taken you for granted. Labor and the Greens do not respect you, nor do they care about governing in your best interest. Labor and the Greens are out of touch, out of ideas and out of energy.

A Canberra Liberals government that I lead will always respect you, and will always value the enormous trust you place in us to be your voice. A Canberra Liberals government that I lead will govern for every Canberran and make sure that our vulnerable are not left behind. A Canberra Liberals government that I lead will govern with integrity, and it will always be about you—our community.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (5.18): On behalf of the ACT Greens, I rise to respond to the 2022-23 budget. With your indulgence, I would like to start this budget reply with a brief but exciting tale about a Greens policy. Once, many years ago, before the 2016 election, the ACT Greens proposed a policy to begin the phase-out of fossil fuel gas in the ACT. We said at the time, “The perils of climate change
demand that we start phasing out gas and we need to begin this phase-out in an equitable way.”

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