Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 June 2011) . . Page.. 2306 ..
socioeconomic strata have access to. First and foremost, our obligation must be to assist those vulnerable families.
I was very proud to learn of some of the assistance that the outreach program has been able to deliver. I was speaking to the chief executive of the Northside Community Service when we launched the upgraded outreach program earlier this year. He told me the story of a family where the husband, a wife and a couple of kids had their own home—they are not renting; they have their own home—but the husband is sick. He has cancer. The mother is sick but she is recovering. She cares for her husband and their children. They could not afford a new fridge. They had this old, clapped-out fridge. It was not working properly. It would not keep the food cold in summer. And it was costing them a bomb, because it was inefficient. It was costing them an absolute bomb in electricity costs.
They had had contact with the Northside Community Service because of their circumstances. But Northside were able to say to them: “Look, we have got some funding through the outreach program. We can help you. We can help you to get a new fridge. We will pay for it. Let’s get the old one taken away. We will get it recycled. We will get you a new fridge. That way you can keep your food cold in summer.” Their electricity bill plummeted. That is a really great example of how this government is helping those battling low income households.
And that is what we will continue to do. We will reach out to 4,000 of those households over the next four years—and that is on top of the very significant increase in concession payments this government has put in place.
That is the approach we are going to continue to adopt, because it is the only credible and reasonable thing for a government to do—not to try to promise the world to everyone; not to try and say, “We will make things better for you no matter what your particular financial or personal circumstances are.” That is the vague and easy promise that those opposite have made. Instead, we will make a commitment to households who are in dire circumstances, who have low incomes, who battle in circumstances like the family I have just talked about. That is the Labor government’s commitment. We will continue to make that investment to help them with the cost of living here in the ACT.
That Ms Hunter’s amendments to Ms Gallagher’s proposed amendment be agreed to.
The Assembly voted—
Ms Le Couteur
Question so resolved in the affirmative.