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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1543 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

helping children at risk and disabled students. These are two areas where children are slipping through the cracks, particularly in the teenage years. This is a social need we have to identify as a priority in the future.

There is the lingering cloud of the SACS award, the implications of which the Government has said that it will consider in its contract negotiations with community sector services. The SACS award could cripple the viability of community service providers such as youth refuges. There is no iron-clad commitment from the Government to fund the full costs of the award.

I would also like to mention the continued emphasis on the redevelopment of the city, which I have mentioned in this chamber before. In the draft capital works program another $3m is set aside for construction activity in Civic alone. I am concerned that this could be at the expense and the neglect of other areas such as the electorate of Ginninderra. Once again, I would like to mention my desire to see attention diverted to bringing alive the Lake Ginninderra foreshores. There is enormous potential in the Belconnen lake, and I would like to see this realised for businesses and the community in Belconnen.

Finally, Mr Speaker, considering this budget has been coined "the full monty" by the Government, I would like to know whether this means that Mr Humphries, instead of reading his annual appraisals of members' budget replies, will get up on the table and perform that famous Hot Chocolate song in the chamber.

MR WOOD (8.45): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, earlier today in another debate the Minister for Urban Services, in a rather sanctimonious manner, chastised the Opposition over consultation. He alleged - I dispute the claim - that we did not consult. I do not know how many standards are apparent here, but there have been the most significant changes in some aspects of housing that we have seen for quite a time, changes that affect tenants quite considerably, changes that affect those people in our community who have the least range of resources and changes that are detrimental to their interests, and those changes have been made without any consultation. Those people and the groups who represent them had not heard a word about them beforehand. Yet the Minister has the gall to criticise the Labor Party for an alleged lack of consultation. Why did he not talk to the people affected or their representatives - and there are some very fine bodies in this town who are most interested and knowledgeable in housing?

I have had something of a difference with Mr Smyth over a period about what consultation is. I was pleased that a little while ago - and I carried an invitation to him on this matter - he went to Burnie Court and spoke to the residents. I believe that there was a positive outcome to that. You can talk intelligently and productively to the people in your houses. They know what is in their best interests and they are willing to pursue that path. I think the Minister would do a lot better to take tenants into his confidence.

We have had an announcement today that Lachlan Court is to close. I guess the tenants have long suspected that. At least they now know, and I will have more to say about that later. With the threat hanging over them for quite some time, they should have been

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