Page 3357 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 19 October 2022
a substantive response on the issues that we raise. Just yesterday I took Minister Julie Collins on a tour of the ACT government’s joint venture project of Ginninderry. There are going to be some exciting affordable housing proposals to consider as part of this development, and there is genuine engagement and interest from the minister and the federal government on the role that they can play in helping to deliver on these projects.
I want to go briefly to finance minister Katy Gallagher’s comments. She continues to engage with us, and all states and territories, on this matter. Minister Gallagher was clear in her response that the way it was done by the previous government as a vote-buying exercise to overturn the medevac legislation was not going to be the approach of the federal Labor government. I admire her integrity in that space. Whilst I hear Mr Davis calling on Mr Pocock to consider doing deals of some sort with the Labor government, I hope that Mr Pocock has the integrity to not make deals on matters like medevac or indeed the IR legislation changes that are being sought by the Labor government. In those cases I am sure that, as the Chief Minister and I have been doing in meetings with Minister Katy Gallagher and various other ministers, we will be able to work through this. It requires a grown-up response from a grown-up government, and that is what we have with federal Labor.
I look forward to having these issues resolved and getting on with the job of delivering even more social and affordable housing projects. As I said, I have been writing to Minister Julie Collins to pursue the discussions that we continue to have with her and with Katy Gallagher around the waiving of the housing debt owed to the commonwealth. The Chief Minister has gone through the detail of that: the funding that is required and where we could redirect those costs, and particularly those servicing costs, towards new and expanded public housing in the ACT.
I do just want to go to the point about providing more social and affordable housing in the ACT. Usually I would ignore this, but I find myself in a place where I have not been able to, so I will say this and draw people to the record of public housing in the ACT delivered by the ACT Labor Party. Under the previous government here in the ACT, when it was the Canberra Liberals, a thousand homes were sold off, privatised and not replaced.
Mr Parton: Which century is this?
MS BERRY: I know that it is the only data we have got to rely on from the Canberra Liberals, even though it was some time ago. There is nothing new to reflect on. As you say, “Which century?” It was 20 years ago, and it is the case that there are 1,000 fewer homes. There also would have been more than 100 fewer homes, had the Canberra Liberals got their way, when we were replacing public housing during the last public housing renewal program. The Canberra Liberals and, in fact, some of the ACT Greens members stood in between us and building more, better, modern public housing properties in the ACT.
It was noted at the time as well that the ACT Greens did not support Common Ground in Dickson initially. They have come round to that, which is excellent, but initially the Greens did not support Common Ground in Dickson. They suggested that that it might not be appropriate for single women with children to live at Common Ground