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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 499 ..

Motion (by Mr Gentleman) agreed to:

That the Members so nominated be appointed as members of the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Bill—Select Committee.

Poverty task force

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (4.24): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) it has been 20 years since the Sharing the Benefits Final Report from the Carnell Government’s Poverty Task Group;

(b) after 20 years of ACT Labor, thousands of Canberrans are struggling with the cost of living and are consequently living in poverty;

(c) according to the ACT Council of Social Service, in the wake of COVID-19, just over 38,000 people are living in poverty in the ACT;

(d) the Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot for 2020 highlighted the lack of affordable housing for low income households in the ACT, with just 4 percent of properties being affordable for someone on minimum wage; and

(e) data from CoreLogic shows the median weekly rent for houses in Canberra is $657, up 3.6 percent since 2019, while median weekly unit rents are $473;

(2) further notes that:

(a) over the last five years, electricity and gas prices have risen by 25 percent and 31 percent respectively in Canberra, prices for medical and hospital services have increased 28 percent, and housing costs increased by 15 percent;

(b) many Canberrans are suffering from significant transport disadvantage due to many suburban public transport services having been cut;

(c) Canberrans regularly pay higher petrol prices than motorists in surrounding towns and most cities; and

(d) the ACT has the lowest general practitioner bulk-billing rate in the country, with Canberrans being twice as likely as other Australians to put off seeing a doctor due to high fees; and

(3) calls on the Government to:

(a) develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with the causes and symptoms of poverty in Canberra by establishing a Poverty Task Force; and

(b) work with the Poverty Task Force to facilitate appropriate consultation with stakeholders, including community sector organisations, industry, and members of the public.

In December 2000, the Poverty Task Group, under a Liberal government led by Kate Carnell, published its final report after working for two years to try to understand the

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