Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 November 2022) . . Page.. 3576 ..
If this is the sort of stuff that Labor members say publicly about their Greens colleagues, you dread to think what they say about them privately. I would love to see some of the WhatsApp threads, but it is encrypted so I will not. But you wonder about how this machine holds together at all. What we are seeing here is that, if anyone despises the Greens more than us, it is Labor!
You have this mental picture of the two skippers of the Titanic wrestling with each other, trying to control the wheel, as it heads for the iceberg. When Mr Pettersson says that he will write his own bill, he actually means that Zachary will write a bill for him! I wanted to reflect on that, at this point.
Richardson shops—leasing—petition 31-22
Development—Chisholm shops—petition 32-22
MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (10.12): Madam Speaker, I rise to speak to two petitions, one relating to the Richardson shops and the other related to the Chisholm KFC. Let us start with the Richardson shops. I would like to thank my fellow member for Brindabella Ms Lawder for sponsoring the petition. Having listened to the 513 voices that have signed that petition, can I say that I absolutely agree with them. If you drive down Clift Crescent past Richardson shops, you will see that it is derelict, abandoned and a blight on that community, and the Richardson community absolutely deserve better.
That is why, earlier this year, I brought a substantive motion to the Assembly calling on an Assembly committee to investigate the possibility of a vacancy tax for both residential and commercial landlords who purposely withhold their properties from market, leave them derelict, leave them as blights on their community and not being held to account.
The economy and gender and economic equality committee is inquiring into that matter as we speak. Unfortunately, the government’s submission to that inquiry completely overlooked the need to consider commercial property, only providing one line in their submission. That is disappointing, and I will continue to be active on this case.
It is worth noting, though, to the government’s credit, that a fair bit of money has been spent around the Richardson shops in recent years, including updating the skate park facilities, the playground facilities and the bus stop. When we are considering carrot versus stick for rich private landlords who own big chunks of our own community, I put it to the Assembly that the government has already given quite a bit of carrot to the owner of the Richardson shops, and it is my view that now is the time for the stick approach. When you own big chunks of our community, when you purposely allow them to sit derelict and vacant, and when you rob community of infrastructure and amenity, you should be held accountable.
On the question of the Chisholm KFC proposal, Madam Speaker, I thank you for sponsoring the petition and sharing the voices of 287 of our shared constituents. We have worked together quite closely on previous petitions, and I was proud to be a small part of stopping the McDonald’s development at the Chisholm shops.