Page 3995 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 29 November 2022

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better. Construction is a large industry and quite a large sector, and it quite literally lays the foundations of our society. By including more women and supporting them in the construction industry, we can help to identify and break down barriers that women face in the industry. In recognising and celebrating these women through the NAWIC Awards, we can help to showcase these women and encourage other women to get involved with the industry by showing how well many women are doing in the industry.

So a big thank you to NAWIC ACT, its members, supporters, sponsors and committee members, who help make all of this possible. Thank you for your organising work of the awards night. It does not happen on its own; it takes a huge effort to make this occur. I really look forward to seeing the continuing influence of the award winners, the finalists and anyone who was nominated on our ACT construction industry.

Canberra—cost of living

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (5.43): I want to rise and respond to comments made by Mr Rattenbury in the debate on Ms Lee’s cost of living motion earlier in the day. Mr Rattenbury stood in this chamber earlier in the day and gave a self-congratulatory, virtuous fairyland speech about poverty, rental unaffordability and cost of living, and how everything was somebody else’s fault. Mr Rattenbury suggested that somehow our cost of living woes in the ACT were the fault of the Canberra Liberals—that it is us, apparently; we are responsible.

I want to focus my remarks on the mischaracterisations that Mr Rattenbury made about my contributions in the ongoing debate about residential tenancy changes. As Mr Rattenbury tends to do, he sought to play this class war to further ignite any divide that existed between tenants and landlords. To Mr Rattenbury, I would characterise this as throwing tofu to your progressive votes. But it is just baseless, ideological drivel. Mr Rattenbury suggested that I and my party were backing landlords, to the detriment of tenants, and that somehow we were the flies in the ointment. Somehow it gets down to the Canberra Liberals and the speeches that we make in this chamber as to where we are all going wrong.

The national rental affordability index has clearly stated that the ACT has the worst rental affordability in the nation. This report said that students, pensioners and single parents are among the hardest hit groups, forced to sacrifice up to 70 per cent of their income to afford rent. Everything that I have said would occur in this space is happening before our eyes. We said that this would happen.

Mr Rattenbury asserts that we are backing landlords. What we are backing is sensible policy, with a view to the unintended consequences of the ideologically driven class policy which has been unleashed on us by this Greens minister. Mr Rattenbury has single-handedly trashed the private rental market. Mr Rattenbury and the Labor Party have been in power for 20 years plus, and everything that is happening here has been caused by them—although it is the Greens, in particular, who have set about trashing the entire rental market. I might say that there are those in the space who believe that the Greens have wilfully set about trashing the entire market because of some progressive fantasy. The results of your work are clearly on display in the Shelter rental report out today.

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