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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 November 2010) . . Page.. 5520 ..

saying, “It is not the government’s fault. The government cannot do anything about that.” It is eerily similar in construction and intent to the government’s amendment.

But then, showing a slightly schizophrenic approach, after paragraph (1), where she says that it is not the government’s fault, she then calls on the government to do a range of things. One is to consider carefully the cost of living. It is not very different from what is in Mr Seselja’s motion. It talks about housing affordability, which is an important issue. It talks about the conduct of a poverty impact analysis.

I was in the lobby and I did hear Ms Hunter attempting to have a go at me, saying, “Mrs Dunne does not care about poor people.” That was not the point that I made. The point that I made was that, in addition to being concerned about people that might fall into the category of poverty—and I put on the record that it was the Canberra Liberals, under a Carnell-Humphries government, that did the first poverty analysis in this territory, and the only one that stands, and there may be a point that it is time to revisit that—and in addition to talking about the 13 per cent poverty figure that the poverty analysis of the Carnell government pointed to, we should be also thinking about the cost impacts that this has on everyday, ordinary people who never get any assistance because they are not sufficiently unfortunate enough to fall into the category of being poverty stricken.

This is not to say that we are not concerned about people who are poor. We are also concerned about the cost impacts of the prices on everyday people. It is pretty glib and it is pretty easy to say that we are only interested in people who can go on overseas trips and have plasma TVs. If some members of the Labor Party and the crossbench got out of the inner north and visited the suburbs where the people who pay their wages live, they would see that those people do not go on overseas trips. They do not have plasma screens. They are struggling on a very small amount of disposable income which is constantly being eroded by rising costs across the board.

This motion today is asking the government to take that into account and to account for it in their budget preparation and in their budget papers. It is not really a very difficult thing to do. The Treasurer says, “We already do it.” If you already do it—

Mr Smyth: No harm done.

MRS DUNNE: no harm done. Put it in place and in a way that is accessible to the average Canberran. If you want to drive up the cost of people’s rents through land tax, change of use charge, planning charges and rates, say that you are going to do it. Be prepared to fess up to what it is that you are going to do. What Mr Seselja has done here today is demonstrate that the ACT does not perform as well as other jurisdictions. Our cost of living has increased at a faster rate over the 10 years of the Stanhope government and it is time that they accounted for that to the people of the ACT.

Question put:

That Ms Hunter’s amendment to Mr Stanhope’s proposed amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

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