Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 November 2005) . . Page.. 4267 ..
I take the minister to task for saying that my press release of 11June 2005 implies that staff or management of Housing ACT are corrupt. The minister’s statement in response to Ms Porter’s question is incorrect. My press release refers solely to the public housing system in itself and the Liberal opposition’s concern that there are a proportion of tenants in the system availing themselves of government-subsidised housing who are clearly in a financial position to support themselves in another form of housing but choose to remain in public housing—above those who are clearly in need of the support of the housing assistance program. Many such cases have been brought to the attention not only of me but also of the minister, but I will not go into details now.
Through the inflexibility of a security of tenure program and the inability to house people most in need, this government is not encouraging a proportion of people who are clearly able to do so to enter into private rental or home ownership. This is the tragedy of this situation. If the minister believes that I would stoop to the level he did yesterday when he implied that my press statement is targeted at departmental staff, the standard in this Assembly has hit a low point. His inability to read the statement leaves me with the impression that the minister is not aware that he, as a member of executive government, is in a position to act as a change agent, to make significant inroads in this vital portfolio area and, by enacting change in policy development, to see some vital corrections made to the public housing system.
It is a pity when people’s views are taken out of context in that way. They are fairly serious allegations that Mr Hargreaves has made and he talks about my offering an apology. I have no apology to make. I was simply saying that we need to be alert to the devices of some people who have been unscrupulous—and the minister knows about these people. I was merely highlighting the point and alerting the minister to the fact that he needs to be on his toes and on guard because other people, public housing tenants and private people alike, are watching with great interest what is happening. They are not stupid. The community are telling us things. What are we saying? “We don’t believe you; it’s not true.” So they go away and pull their hair out in sheer frustration. You cannot have people amassing a big asset base. They may be asset rich and cash poor; that could be true. What I put out on 11 June simply said that the system needs urgent reform, and I stand by that statement.
Mr Craig Curry
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (6.16): I would like to take the opportunity to draw to the attention of the Assembly that Mr Craig Curry, the Executive Director of Education within the ACT Department of Education and Training, has been nominated and accepted as a fellow of the Australian College of Educators.
The Australian College of Educators aims to provide a strong national voice for educators and to promote high professional standards, recognise excellence and foster professional learning. Ultimately, the association aims to enhance the status of the teaching profession. Fellowship of the college is a highly prestigious national award and is in recognition of outstanding and distinctive contributions to the advancement of education by educators as members of the college. The college council awards