Page 3978 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 29 November 2022

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in this space. They call for us to undertake and establish a poverty task force, to ensure that we look at all the levers, to ensure that we look at all the factors so that we can come up with options and solutions. That has always been rejected.

This amendment and the contributions made by Mr Barr and Mr Rattenbury continue to do what they always do, and that is focus on external factors and ignore the fact that, just maybe, their policies might not be 100 per cent right. My original motion is very straight bat and calls on the ACT Labor-Greens government to:

(a) recognise that many Canberran’s are facing a real cost-of-living crisis; and

(b) report back to the Assembly by Thursday 30 March 2023, on the drivers of the cost-of-living pressures in Canberra and measures available to the ACT Labor and Greens Government to address these pressures.

You would think that was the bare minimum for a government that have been at the helm for over 20 years and have seen the cost of living skyrocket to do, and they could not bring themselves even to agree to doing that bare minimum.

The damning rental affordability index report that was released today was alarming. The CEO of ACTCOSS, Dr Emma Campbell, was scathing. Dr Campbell said:

The ACT’s rental affordability crisis continues to worsen for people on low incomes.

The Rental Affordability Index demonstrates that the ACT Government’s housing and homeless policies are failing to meet the housing needs of Canberrans on low incomes—including many in full-time work.

The ACT Government’s Housing Strategy Report card released last week shows that there is a long way to go to deliver on its social and affordable housing commitments.

I continue. Dr Campbell said:

Instead of ‘ongoing’ or ‘in progress’ on the ACT Government’s housing commitments, we need to see homes ‘delivered and completed’ for the ACT’s pensioners, families and frontline workers who are struggling to keep a roof over their head.

How many reports do we need before the ACT Government will take this crisis seriously?

The ACT Government must take immediate action to empower our community housing providers to build more homes, through access to financial support and affordable land, so that all Canberrans have a safe and secure home no matter their income.

Those are scathing words and speak directly to the policy levers that are within the control of the ACT government. Whilst we acknowledge that there are external factors, what we are focused on is getting a commitment, getting acknowledgement and getting some action from Labor and the Greens on the policies that they do have control over. They do have them, and the fact that they refuse to exercise them is unconscionable.

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