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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (1 March) . . Page.. 446 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

We are going through the draft budget process at the moment. It would cost us in the order of $300 million to allow people to have security of tenure and to meet the needs of the people on the waiting list at the moment who also need to have public housing, because we would need to expand our assets to that extent to meet that need. The context in which I mean it is in one-off money terms.

The government, in looking at the expenditure of that kind of money, would say, "Where is the greatest need and where are we going to apply that money in order to deal with those in greatest need?" Mr Speaker, we have gone through this whole process to enable us to say whether we want to leave it with the status quo or whether we want to make sure that we can deal with those in greatest need. That is the approach that we have taken.

Mr Speaker, I have not been bloody-minded in the way that I have approached this issue. Mr Wood raised this issue and a number of other issues with regard to the package that the government had put together to try to improve the lot of those in greatest need. The committee responded on that and the government has agreed with some of the things from the committee, but has not agreed in whole. However, there was one issue that was quite significant to us. It was the impact that comes from provision 15, which Mr Wood proposes simply to disallow. I have prepared an amendment, which has been circulated, which recognises actually what it was that Mr Wood was trying to achieve there, I think it is fair to say; that is, what impact does it have on a family which is receiving a rental rebate because of the low income of the family when their 16 or 17-year-old son gets an apprenticeship, he has his first regular money coming in, and mum has to say, "Sorry, son, we will have to take some of that money."

Clearly, that was not an effective way of maintaining and keeping a family together, so I was not bloody-minded. I looked at each of the things raised to see whether we could do something about it. I have circulated two amendments and I take this opportunity to seek leave to move the amendments circulated in my name.

Leave granted.

MR MOORE: I move:

(1) Omit all the words after "Assembly", substitute the following:

"amends clause 15 of Instrument No 376 of 2000, the variation to the Public Rental Housing Assistance Program made pursuant to the Housing Assistance Act 1987, by deleting the definition at clause 17 (5) therein contained, and substituting the following:

(5) For the purpose of this clause 17, "Basic Rent" means the sum of:

(a) 25% of the weekly income of the household, other than

(i) the weekly income of all members of the household that are less than 18 years of age other than the tenant; and

(ii) dependent child payments;

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