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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (1 March) . . Page.. 447 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

(b) 10% of the weekly income of all members of the household that are independent persons less than 18 years of age other than the tenant, other than dependent child payments;

(c) 10% of dependent child payments payable to any person in the household; and

(d) any component of the rent for the Property which is in respect of hot water, space heating, garages and other facilities and is specified by the Commissioner to form part of the basic rent.".

(2) Insert at the end to the Motion the following:

"(2) This amendment takes effect as of the date of operation of Instrument No 376 of 2000.".

Mr Speaker, the first amendment means that in the sort of family that we are talking about the income of that 16 or 17-year-old will not be taken into account, that mum will not have to say, "I am taking your money away," and the kid will say, "Blow you, I am going to go and get a house of my own or live elsewhere." We did not want to achieve that, so we did recognise that.

Members will notice that the second amendment says that the amendment takes effect from the date of operation of the instrument. The Assembly is always very careful about backdating things when it disadvantages somebody, but this is to the advantage of the eight families that we knew it had affected so far. It says that we should not have applied that at that time and we will therefore repay the people who had put in money, if any have. Certainly, it will not apply to them for the interim period. I think most members would agree that that is a worthwhile exercise.

It is worth pointing out, though, that my amendments seek to oppose what Mr Wood has put up. Mr Wood is putting up something that I think is worth putting up as a goal for us to seek to reach, but it is a question of priorities and the difficulty for government is always in assessing priorities and delivering on those priorities. In the end, if we are going to deal with our waiting lists in the way that we have to, if we are going to be equitable in dealing with those of greatest need within the money that I have, then what the government has put up is the most effective way of doing it. For us to deliver what Mr Wood is suggesting we ought to deliver, the bill would be in the order of $300 million in capital to increase the asset in housing.

I emphasise, Mr Speaker, that our whole focus in this exercise has been on dealing with those in greatest need but, at the same time, we have maintained the rights of tenants who perceive the homes in which they live as their own homes. We have not taken away that prerogative. We have said that, starting in the future, the position of somebody who has been there for three years, or five years if a pensioner, will be reviewed and if they have the wherewithal to move into either private rental or their own homes, we will provide assistance under the first home owners scheme-quite significant assistance, I might add. What will happen is that their rental will end because that house can be used for somebody who is in greater need.

That is not something that I come to easily. As I argued last year in the Assembly, members can go through the Hansards sitting in front of me and they will find that on many occasions I argued the difference between welfare housing and public housing, but

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