Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 27 November 2014) . . Page.. 4304 ..
The government has outlined the reasoning for its response to each recommendation in the document I have tabled. The government in particular notes recommendation 62, the final recommendation of the committee, that:
Notwithstanding the preceding recommendations, the Committee recommends that the Assembly pass the Appropriation (Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication) Bill 2014-15, so that monies can start being paid to homeowners who have joined the Scheme.
Given this recommendation, Madam Speaker, I do not consider the report of the public accounts committee and its recommendations raise any issues that would prevent the passage of this appropriation bill today. I commend the government’s response to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.
Appropriation (Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication) Bill 2014-2015
Debate resumed from 25 November 2014, on motion by Mr Barr:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (9.39): Madam Speaker, today the government is asking this Assembly to approve the allocation of about three-quarters of a billion dollars for a program to resolve the Mr Fluffy issue in Canberra. I will start by saying that the Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill.
It is, however, important to separate our support for the funding of this work and the government’s detailed scheme which, in my view and that of my colleagues—and it appears of the public accounts committee—has taken an inflexible one-size-fits-all approach.
We will be calling on the government to honour the guiding principles of their plan, which say that it needs to be fair and that it needs to be flexible. But, as we have heard from so many home owners who are affected, it is clear that the government’s plan is neither fair nor flexible.
Madam Speaker, there is a long and tragic history to the Mr Fluffy saga in Canberra. It is not my intention today to repeat that history, which has been well litigated in this place and in the community before. But I do believe—I will speak further to this—that this issue will require a detailed examination of what went so wrong over such a protracted period of time so that we may learn those lessons.
The opposition has to date offered a largely bipartisan approach to this issue. I hope that this continues. I hope that the recommendations raised by the bipartisan committee and the changes that have been called on by the opposition are considered in good faith by the government, because the changes that we are calling on today are those that the Mr Fluffy home owners have called for.