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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2975..


MR HARGREAVES (11.02): I need only 20 seconds. I want to counterbalance what the opposition was saying. Of the issues that come through my office, well over half are housing issues and well over 80 per cent of those are solved very successfully in a timely manner by the people of ACT Housing. I have no quarrel with what they do whatsoever.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming, and Acting Minister for Planning) (11.02): Mr Hargreaves made a good point. If a positive view is taken to people's problems rather than telling them that it is all the government's fault and the government should do something-"Ooh, ooh, bad, bad"-there might be a better hope of a settlement being reached.

I am interested in this new approach of the Liberals that bad neighbours are to be thrown out. I gather from the way Mr Pratt presented his case that people were being judged before there was any proof-"The police can't do anything, but those people are guilty." If you are to come to government and introduce this policy of evicting people who are judged as being antisocial, I think you have an obligation to ask yourselves what you are going to do with them.

Had a young family that had some behavioural problems been on the street, I bet pounds to peanuts that Mrs Burke would be on the other side of the fence in a flash. "Ooh, this terrible government leaves these poor people homeless. What are you going to do about them? They're homeless. They can't help it; they need help. You've got to be positive about that. You have to be positive. You can't be negative. You can't just write them off."

I can hear it all. I can hear it on the airwaves. Through you, Mr Speaker, I believe you, the opposition, have a responsibility, otherwise you are not fit to govern. If you said, "Here's a problem. I have half the solution. If you've got the whole solution, tell us the solution," that might be good.

Mrs Burke: I have done, many times.

MR QUINLAN: The government may be able to adopt that particular solution if there is a solution.

Mrs Burke: Pride wouldn't let you. That'll be the day.

MR QUINLAN: I do not think there is. I think this is populist appeal. This is politicking at its absolute worst because you do not have the answer to a problem you-

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Pratt, Mrs Burke, give Mr Quinlan a go.

MR QUINLAN: They do not have the answer, Mr Speaker, to the problem they wish to create. Speaking of problems: if Mr Wood was here, I am fairly certain he would be saying, as he has said before in this place, that under the previous government public housing stock was run down. It was run down in quantity, and it was run down in the level of maintenance. Mr Wood has been a very passionate advocate for public housing


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