Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 November 2022) . . Page.. 3968 ..
member of Labor and the Greens. In October last year, when the Canberra Liberals moved a motion that was very similar, in terms of raising awareness about the cost of living challenges facing so many Canberrans, Labor and the Greens amended it beyond recognition.
Canberrans are hurting. They are feeling it at the supermarket check-out, at the petrol bowser, every month when their ever-increasing mortgage payments are due, or each fortnight when they pay their rent. They are feeling it each time they receive their rates notices, when they visit the doctor or pick up medication at the pharmacy. These are real worries that face real Canberrans. These are families, mums, dads, grandparents and students across our community that struggle each and every day to afford to live in this city.
Yet, every time we talk about cost of living pressures in the ACT, we get bombarded with self-congratulatory posturing from those in the Labor-Greens government about how they have measures in place to help some of the most vulnerable members of our community with the cost of living pressures that they face. But what are they actually doing? It is clear, and becoming even more so, that whatever they are doing is not working.
We heard recently in the annual reports hearings that only 41 per cent of ACT residents that are eligible for an energy concession were actually accessing it. Most worryingly, we also found out that the government has scrapped its own affordable home purchase scheme for low to middle income households for the remainder of this financial year. At a time when low income families are in desperate need of new homes, that is what this Labor-Greens government is providing.
Reducing the cost of living pressures must be front and centre of government policymaking when so many Canberrans are hurting so much. It is a fundamental responsibility of any government, no matter which party, to look after the most vulnerable in our community when they need it the most. We need targeted and adequate measures to help families in low income households, and we need them now. That is why I bring this motion to the Assembly today.
This motion is an opportunity for every member of the governing parties to engage in a mature discussion about what we can do to help Canberrans that are truly hurting and who need urgent support right now. I urge every member in this chamber to support my motion so that we can have a real look at what measures are available to us as policymakers to help ease the cost of living pressures for so many people in our community that are doing it tough. I commend my motion to the Assembly.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (4.04): I move:
Omit all text after “That this Assembly”, substitute:
“(1) notes that:
(a) cost-of-living pressures are currently an issue across Australia in a wide range of essential sectors, including energy, health, transport and housing;