Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 October 2022) . . Page.. 3340 ..
for them, this is the most important thing happening in their lives. I wholeheartedly support the motion.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.05): We will not be supporting the amendment from the government because it simply continues the deception. The amendment calls upon the government to continue doing business exactly as they are doing it now. The amendment, just like the government’s typical MO, says, “We know better and we will not be pressured into giving any more information than we wish to.” That, as far as I am concerned, and as far as the vast majority of Canberrans are concerned, is not good enough.
The amendment omits all of the cold, hard truths that appeared in the original motion, because the government is not keen for the truth to be widely trumpeted. It is no surprise that the government want to remove any mention of the recommendations from the public accounts committee, because they want to pretend that that inquiry did not occur and that those recommendations were not made. Dare I say it: this is what the Chinese and the Russians do with their publications. They just take out all the news that discredits the Kremlin or the governing party. You just erase it. You just pretend that nobody said it. You just take it out.
It is no surprise that the government does not agree with the pure fact that land release in the ACT is not meeting demand and that this is contributing to Canberra’s housing affordability crisis. You can pretend all you like, but the reality is that supply is not meeting demand.
I love it that Ms Berry, the champion of the battler, from out there at west Belconnen, has left in the bit that Canberra has the highest median rents in Australia. She has left that in but she has added a few words. She says that we have the highest rents in Australia “before adjusting for income”. So Ms Berry, the union hero, the champion of the battler, is saying: “Sure, rents might be high, but not for those of us that earn a good quid. It is okay for us. Those of us who are MLAs or work in executive public service positions, we are okay. We are all good because we can afford those absurdly high rents. Those on basic wages or relying on government income support are very clearly going to struggle, but let them eat cake.”
With the insertion of the amendment, the minister is signalling that her party, who used to actually give two hoots about the battlers, just do not care anymore. They do not care. My message to the government would be that you have nothing to lose from establishing an inventory of service land or, indeed, if you do have something to lose, you should explain what it is. You have nothing to lose from including a clearer set of classifications for block types and reporting requirements, as well as some reporting requirements against the delivery. You have nothing to lose by including in the ACT land and property reports the number of blocks not sold for the relevant reporting period, including the classification of block types and dwelling yield.
I would note that, in my remarks to this motion, I have steered away from comments on whether the land release program is working or failing. The comments that I have made, by and large, have referred to what the motion in its original form actually called for, and that is just greater transparency in the reporting of what you are doing.