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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2605 ..

Bega Flats - Eviction of Tenants

MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services and is about antisocial behaviour. By the way, Mr Speaker, I do not know whether members of this Assembly are aware that we actually have a hero within our ranks in Mr Rugendyke. Mr Speaker, it is related to the question. Mr Rugendyke was in New Guinea last week, as we know. Apparently, he was in the foyer of his motel when there were gunshots at journalists. Mr Rugendyke turned round and apprehended the first person he saw with a gun, threw him to the ground and then pinned him up against a wall. He found out 10 minutes later that he had got the security guard. I am very proud of you, pal.

Mr Rugendyke: Nicely embellished.

MR OSBORNE: It is a true story. There is a difference between wearing plain clothes and being a detective. Minister, I noted your announcement today that trouble-making tenants who live in the Bega Flats will face eviction under a new government plan. How is it that antisocial behaviour has increased in spite of patrols at the flats by on-site security? Are the Bega Flats the only government owned flats being targeted by this new policy? What tests are applied to a person's behaviour to determine whether it is antisocial? Do we need to send Dave Rugendyke down there?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, it is funny that Mr Osborne should ask about sending Dave Rugendyke down there. Kerrie Tucker and Bob McMullan - I am not sure whether there were any other MLAs - were there the other Thursday night. You have to understand that at the ABC flats, as they are collectively known, there really is a great community spirit. They put on a concert quarterly. Until now the concerts have been musicals. For the concert they put on last week they had actually written a play about antisocial behaviour, oddly enough, social behaviour, relationships between the tenants and authorities, and other matters. It is a real credit to the group that actually work to build up the tenants at the ABC flats.

Mr Stefaniak: Hear, hear!

MR SMYTH: Bill Stefaniak often attends, but asked me to give his apologies for last Thursday. You do have a core of great people in these places who work really hard to build up community spirit, look out for each other and build a sense of belonging. Ms Tucker is with us now. She and her husband were there for the concert at the ABC flats the other night. It is unfortunate that you do occasionally get those who would bring the place down. We do have the ability to send show cause letters to tenants and we do have the ability to evict. In this case, we have sent a show cause letter as to why we should not evict a person and we have sent one tenant a notice of eviction, and we will carry that through.

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