Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1294 ..


arrangements to achieve the outcomes that are sought in this motion, but of course the fruits of those efforts would not be as visible. It is much more difficult to beat the drum if you are just making things happen up on the top floor.

The motion notes are interesting, because they are written in some parts to give the government that Ms Le Couteur is in partnership with a pat on the back over the public housing renewal program. Ms Le Couteur notes that there are 1,730 applicants on the housing register waiting list, a level at which it has been hovering for some time. In spite of major rounds of consultations, in-depth reports and ministerial statements about where we are heading, the waiting list continues to hover at around the 1,700 point. I think we would all agree that there would be a growing cohort who really should be applying for public housing, but cannot see that it would be worth their while. They think it would be a waste of their time. Those waiting lists would contain, I believe, hundreds more if more people genuinely believed that they would get a house in a sensible time frame. Many have just given up.

We know that there is a serious problem out on Canberra streets, with last winter’s record numbers of homeless people calling on our overnight shelters to help them avoid sleeping outside on the ground or the concrete. And there are those who are couch surfing. The ABS figures are not a genuine representation of what is going on out there in the real world. I think we all know that. Ms Le Couteur does not condemn the government for accepting that situation. In fact, in the earlier part of the motion she gives her government accolades for its success.

The metrics of Ms Le Couteur’s motion look a bit interesting. She points out that ACT public housing currently represents 7.1 per cent of the ACT housing stock without suggesting whether that is a good, bad or indifferent level compared with the recorded needs. I seem to recall that the Greens have long called for a much higher level.

I am proud of what I have achieved as shadow minister for housing. There is a limit to what a shadow minister in any area can actually achieve, because we do not have access to any of the levers within the directorate. Nevertheless, I am proud of a number of the outcomes, micro-outcomes, that I have been able to achieve for a number of constituents who have come to me in the hope that I could solve their problems. It must be said that I could not have achieved any of those outcomes without the assistance of the minister. Although we are sometimes at each other’s throats in here, I genuinely thank the minister for assistance with a number of individual issues that had somehow slipped through the cracks. Obviously, we will be saying that they should not have slipped through the cracks, but sometimes they do. I genuinely thank the minister and the directorate for assisting us with some of those matters.

I would like to think that one of the things that I have achieved is to reignite a genuinely robust conversation within the Liberal Party on housing and housing policy. I know that Ms Le Couteur and many others on the left have a perception that we evil conservatives do not really care about social housing and public housing. I can guarantee you that that is not the case. Isn’t it ironic that in the 17 years of this Labor


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video