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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2651 ..


MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Gentleman, in response to that, I understand that standing order 136 allows the Speaker discretion to disallow any motion or amendment which is the same in substance as any question which has been resolved in the affirmative or negative during that calendar year, and I understand that this matter came to the chamber in February. I note that standing order 136 is an order which gives the Speaker discretion to disallow any motion or amendment which is the same in substance. My view is that the circumstances around poverty have changed so dramatically because of the onset of the COVID debate that I rule, as Deputy Speaker, that I will allow it to proceed.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (4.53): I will speak to the amendment and close the debate. This is what most would call a very good day at the office. From back here in the boondocks on the crossbench I put a motion on the notice paper that reflects an open letter to the Chief Minister from the peak community organisations. To have my friends in the executive come into the chamber today with $26 million worth of new money—in particular, $8.6 million for specialist homelessness services—certainly makes me feel as if I can go home today having completed a job well done.

I would like to thank all the ministers for their contributions, particularly the ministers who have spoken—both Labor ministers and Greens ministers who have carriage for portfolios in this government which look after Canberra’s most marginalised and disadvantaged, through the disability and homelessness space to health, of course—for their continued willingness to collaborate with the crossbench and all members of this chamber who are prepared to put good ideas before them. It is very much appreciated, and I am very grateful for that.

Mrs Jones: I think it is mostly your ideas, not so much anyone else’s.

MR DAVIS: In my comment I used the words “good ideas”, Mrs Jones. That is why, unfortunately, the Greens are unable to support the amendment circulated by Mrs Kikkert. I will deal with the amendment before moving to my remarks in closing. Mrs Kikkert rightly rose to her feet to support the poverty task force amendment circulated in her name by noting that it was a policy that the Canberra Liberals took to the last election. I do not need to remind you, Mr Deputy Speaker, of the result of the last election. I think that reflected the Canberra community’s lack of appetite for more talkfests and task forces when, instead, they need new money and real action. I am delighted to see that the government has come to the chamber today with new money and real action as opposed to yet another talkfest.

I grow increasingly troubled and frustrated that the Canberra Liberals policy approach to every complex problem that seems to be facing the Canberra community of late is yet another task force. I understand and appreciate on a human level the frustration among the Canberra Liberals ranks with the constant reminder that I, and other progressive members of this Assembly, feel obliged, when we speak about poverty and inequality in this city, not to do that in isolation. We simply must speak about the federal government’s dereliction of duty. We simply must speak about the fact that they are not willing to provide income support payments that bring people out of


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