Page 3255 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022
year on year. Is it because of the lack of maintenance over the past 20 years that this Labor-Greens government has been in power? Or is it because the standard of maintenance being completed is subpar? I am not saying that that is the case; I am just asking the question.
There appears to be a lack of empathy between Housing and tenants. It sounds harsh when I say that, because I know that there are some hardworking people and some passionate people in Housing. But from where we sit, there appears to be, on occasion, a lack of empathy between Housing and tenants. It was evident when tenants who were told to relocate felt an absolute lack of understanding and compassion from Housing and the government—a complete disconnect with the tenants and no real chance for discussion.
One tenant was able to be granted a panel discussion to seek exemption from the program. When they turned up, they expected to be able to meet each of the panellists face to face and share the story. And we know the story. The situation was very different. They turned up and were placed in a room next door to the panel and given a computer; the panel was on Zoom. I would hope that those who were involved in that process would, given their time again, perhaps undertake it in a different way. They were not given the chance to share their story and were simply told, “We have reviewed your documents and case.” In that instance, I cannot recall what the final outcome was. I would hope that those who were involved in that process would do it differently. For the aged, for the vulnerable and for those who are in stress, this causes more distress.
I could speak for hours, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: I don’t think you can, Mr Parton.
MR PARTON: I could seek to suspend standing orders if it was the wish. But I do not think it is, so I won’t. The failures are evident in this housing system. All I am trying to do is raise awareness for tenants, who seem to get nowhere, tenants who contact me for help and plead for assistance. I have got to keep pointing out where things have not worked. I have to keep pointing out where things have gone wrong with this housing area.
I wait in anticipation for more of these failures to be addressed and fixed. With the budget presented for 2022-23, I would suggest that the ministers truly take the time to look internally and ask some deep questions to understand where the issues are coming from. Canberra deserves more transparency, and I hope that the constant nagging in this space achieves something and that we do get some better outcomes. That is all I have got to say, Madam Speaker.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (5.23): I welcome the opportunity to speak about the ACT government’s budget commitments to improve housing for the people in the ACT who need it most.