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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 4573..


MR WOOD (continuing):

will only be a dream. I am not disagreeing with much of what Ms Tucker or, indeed, any other members said in this debate.

Ms Tucker made some positive comments. She has proposed to the Treasurer the issue of bonds to provide funding. Depending on the current value, we have $2.2 billion or $2.4 billion of asset and yet this is so difficult to use because the income that we generate from our own resources is limited.

Ms Tucker made quite a fair comment about Kingston foreshore. Before we auctioned off ex-Burnie Court land we wrote into the documents a requirement for affordability of housing, and I do not think that had any impact. Regrettably, we did not sell that land-not yet-but we did have that requirement. I just find it difficult at this stage because, given our limited ability to purchase properties, people are paying higher prices than they need to. I cannot disagree.

As I have said to you before, I have not been able to fulfil the principle of the historical mix of public and private housing in all parts of Canberra. But I think as we move into future property developments-when Burnie Court does get up, as it will some time; sooner rather than later, I hope-that affordability requirement will be written in. I get told that it depresses the price, that it is a problem for some people, but I do not think that is a particular factor-it is not a worry for me.

Let me repeat: I hope I am in a position to make more announcements about housing before this year is done, and I know it is nearly done. It is a significant problem. I thank members for their generally constructive and productive efforts in this debate today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill of Rights Consultative Committee

Report and government response

Debate resumed from 23 October 2003, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

MR STEFANIAK (11.39): I was almost going to adjourn this debate, but this is somewhat separate from the bill. Debate on that will be very lengthy and it is important to hone in on the actual report and the government's response. I make no comment about the government's bill; that is for a later date. I have said, and my colleagues have always said, that this bill is something that is not wanted by the community. It is basically a diversion, a waste of time, really. There are much more important issues and much better ways of protecting rights than going down this path. Indeed, the end result could be quite scary.

Initially I turn to the report. One thing that really jumped out of the report to me was the nearly complete lack of real community interest in this particular matter. I have said in the past-and I am not going to repeat it in this debate but I will do it later, for very, very good reason-that Australia is the envy of many countries in the world because of our democratic system. Our rights are amply and ably covered and we tinker with our system at our peril. The real startling fact in relation to this was the community consultation and


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