Page 974 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023
MS VASSAROTTI: Thank you to the member for the question. The reason I am thinking about it is that I do not really understand the question or how I would possibly answer the question. Can you ask the question again?
MR PARTON: The question was: is the Labor party making it difficult for you to perform your role as Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services? Labor party being specifically Mr Barr and Ms Berry?
Opposition members interjecting—
MS VASSAROTTI: As members of shared government we work very collaboratively, particularly Minister Berry and me. We work very collaboratively on the issues of housing and homelessness services. This is a very difficult issue to be managing, both here in the ACT and Australia more generally. In this place we have had many discussions about the fact that we are dealing with a housing affordability crisis. We know that the last two years in particular have been really challenging in terms of the ongoing impacts of the COVID pandemic, the issues of the cost of living crisis, the fact that we do see such high prices in the ACT which has made the management of, particularly social housing, particularly challenging. We have also seen the federal government not in the space for at least a decade which has also increased the challenges in this portfolio.
MS LAWDER: Minister, how could Mr Barr and Ms Berry make it easier for you to do your job properly in light of Mr Hollo’s comments that you are not doing it properly?
Mr Rattenbury: Point of order, Madam Speaker. It is a hypothetical question.
MADAM SPEAKER: I think the tone of the hypothetical question was almost in the original question. So I will allow Ms Vassarotti to respond.
MS VASSAROTTI: As evidenced in the range of public commitments the government has made recently, particularly in the area of housing, particularly in ideas such as standing up the Coordinator General of Housing, some of the issues around establishing a rental relief scheme, demonstrate that there is ongoing conversations about how we can do more in terms of supporting people who are most vulnerable and really hurting in terms of the issues of housing affordability. We continue to have really good conversations that any government would have in relation to how we can do more to support our most vulnerable citizens, particularly those in social housing.
Economy—trade with Singapore
MS ORR: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, what are the key goals of the territory’s engagement with Singapore this year?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Orr for the question. The primary focus this year is on tourism, aviation, and investment in infrastructure, space and advanced manufacturing. Singapore is one of our key tourism markets. Direct aviation access is