Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 798 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
attachments to land that they do not own, but those attachments are not easy to disassemble and move. The ALP just happens to believe that government should provide the maximum choice of housing, particularly for people with limited resources. These people, to the maximum of their economic capacity, have made an effort to provide themselves with housing. Some - with good reason, I suppose - want to avoid going into the public housing of today. They ought not to be treated so shabbily, yet we have said to them in the letter, "You can go on public housing but get on the end of the queue". For the main part, they are probably one of our best economic investments right where they are, unless we do not care about an expanding demand for public housing.
The Government claims that the proceeds of the sale will be put back into public housing. I have to view that with deep suspicion. We only have to cast our minds back to the emergency services levy. (Extension of time granted) Mr Humphries told this place that the money would be spent on emergency services.
Mr Humphries: Yes, specific things, not that.
MR QUINLAN: So that was blatantly misleading. There is no discernible increase in this financial year - - -
Ms Carnell: There was never going to be.
MR QUINLAN: I know. Of course not. We are going to spend this extra dough we are taking off the taxpayer on emergency services. We are just going to take away the dough we used to spend. This is just a misleading bookkeeping shuffle, and I would suspect that this one will go down the same chute, with the same dishonesty involved, if the track record is any indication.
Let me return to my initial theme. The Government is here to serve the people. It is not a collection of discrete business units and commercial functions. The business units are a means to an end, not the end itself. The core business of the Government is people and the core business of Housing is housing.
The Minister's immediate problem is a potential personal and economic disaster that could be visited upon the people - the people we serve - of the long-stay caravan park because the Government just wants to flog off another asset. This Assembly needs to see not only the detail of the proposal but also the wider options. There is a precedent next door to this park that demonstrates that all things are possible. The Assembly as a whole has an obligation to the citizens of this park to ensure that they are not simply the victims of the Government's asset sale fixation. I commend the motion to the Assembly.
MR CORBELL (5.37): Mr Speaker, I will be brief, as my colleagues have canvassed the issues quite extensively, but I rise to reject the arguments put forward by Mr Smyth in support of his amendment and to urge members not to support his amendment. Substantially, his amendment means that we delete paragraph (1) of Mr Wood's motion, which reads: