Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1453 ..
are. And I am disappointed the government did not bring a more constructive amendment to the table.
It has been challenging to engage the Liberal Party on the specifics of this. As I said, I think Mr Seselja’s conversation about middle income earners is an interesting one to have in this context. But I think this is where we need to get down to the roots. When we want to talk about money and what it all costs, this is where we need to get some focus and this is why we cannot support Mr Seselja’s amendment. It is not focused. We need to focus on this in a tight budget situation. We have had a lot of that discussion about the financial pressures on the ACT and we need to be fiscally responsible. In that context, that is why our motion is very specifically focused on those most vulnerable households.
That is where I think the useful distinction that Mr Corbell drew is a good one. It is not about all middle income households. There are middle income households who will be facing vulnerability, who will be facing pressure because of energy costs. If Mr Seselja is open to an amendment to his amendment, I think we could look at that. But I think a blanket reference is not the sort of focus that we need in this kind of a motion.
That is why the Greens will not be supporting the amendments either from Mr Seselja or from the Labor Party, because they both take out the concrete, specific actions that the Greens are proposing and they seek to make this a motion of generality, of platitudes and of the sorts of statements that do not add anything to this debate.
MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Women) (8.06): I rise in support of Mr Corbell’s amendments. The ACT government has invested in a range of initiatives to address the potential impact of climate change on low income households.
I understand that the former Community Inclusion Board report into the social impacts of climate change in the ACT and the 2008 paper Development of a poverty impact analysis approach in the ACT will inform the triple-bottom-line assessment framework currently under development. This framework would embed sustainability into the decision-making process, in line with commitments made in the ACT government’s sustainability policy. The paper is available through the Chief Minister’s Department website. The capability to conduct a poverty impact assessment is being developed as part of the government’s progress towards a triple-bottom-line reporting.
I would like now to outline a range of ACT government programs for low income households in this area. In 2008 the ACT government developed a concession policy to provide for long-term sustainability of government concessions. The ACT government concessions policy supports a system which provides equity, effectiveness, accessibility and transparency for all those accessing concessions.
The ACT government funds and administers a range of concessions that aim to achieve a balance in the standard of living and access to essential services for all