Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 May 2007) . . Page.. 757 ..
The Auditor-General’s report did give the government something to work on. I hope that we will continue to see changes being made there and that the government will really keep pace with that report and make sure that all those things the Auditor-General raised are addressed. As I said, the minister pointed out some very good things, ones with which we agree. In fact, the Leader of the Opposition pointed out that having an equity scheme was actually raised by a Liberal government. That was before my time, minister, but it is still a good idea. I think it shows that the system needs fluidity, words that I have used for quite some time. We have to have entry points and exit points. With what the minister has proposed, we will see that at last, which is good.
As to the $80,000-plus joint income, those people should be in a position to move through the system and therefore free up properties, which the minister has alluded to and which we welcome. I am interested in the reference to sustaining that level of income for two years, because it was argued—I am not sure whether it was by this minister, the previous minister or the Greens—that this would cause a problem as it would be a disincentive almost for people to improve their income levels. I am hoping that will not be so. I am hoping that people out there are much smarter than that.
We will see a sorting out of the system regarding people occupying properties that do not suit their needs. That is going to work both ways, which is really good. We have elderly people in properties of three and four bedrooms that they do not need who cannot be moved under the current regime. What the government is proposing is adequate and common sense. In the same way, we have young people occupying properties that they do not need and we have young families squashed into small properties. We do welcome that change. I also welcome the broad consultation, the continuing consultation, which must occur. Given that the changes will not be implemented quickly, perhaps a sign that this government has taken seriously what it has heard, let us hope that it is not going to be years and years before we see a proper and more robust public and social housing system.
I take on board the comments about community housing in Canberra. I have noticed that the TV ads talk about a range of options for community housing. I am just not sure, minister, whether you mean one organisation is going to be doing the whole lot or whether you are going to consider something like the UK system.
Mr Hargreaves: Erk!
MRS BURKE: Hang on. I do not know whether, under the constraints of the commonwealth-states housing agreement, you have enough flexibility. I will not say more than that. Thank you, minister. The changes have been a long time coming, but have been well received by the opposition.
Government accountability—use of funds
Discussion of matter of public importance
MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Burke, Mrs Dunne, Dr Foskey, Mr Gentleman, Ms MacDonald, Mr Mulcahy, Ms Porter, Mr Pratt, Mr Seselja, Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak proposing that matters of public importance be submitted