Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (1 March) . . Page.. 448 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

I still have to manage within the money I have before me. If you genuinely believe that we want a system of public housing, you also have to look at the budget ramifications of that for us.

If there comes from the budget process a recommendation that we should increase capital funding of public housing to meet the needs of the people on the waiting list, there may be an opportunity to review this policy, should the government accept it. If we do not, I suggest that the Labor Party put it in its policy and say that it will commit $300 million of capital money to public housing so that there can be an outcome of the type that Mr Wood effectively is advocating in this disallowance motion.

Mr Speaker, I encourage members to maintain the approach that they took before Christmas and vote against Mr Wood's disallowance motion, but recognise that the amendments that I have put up do at least make a concession about the concerns that Mr Wood and Ms Tucker have raised with regard to families. Just as I distributed the amendments in my name, the Clerk raised with me a question as to whether they are valid. We have had legal advice that they are, but he has raised an appropriate question.

Should it be the case be that the amendments are not valid, I still have the ability to write another instrument and make sure that the same thing is still carried through. It is my advice that the amendments are valid and we should proceed with them. If not, they will not affect the motion here and the matter can be revisited when I gazette it and it comes through the Assembly again. I thought in the spirit of openness that I would make it clear that that was the case.

I am still confident enough to have moved that amendments to Mr Wood's motion and I would encourage members to support my amendments. It is worth pointing out that my amendments remove all the other clauses that Mr Wood has put up for disallowance. The only thing that would change under my amendments is that we would not apply this rule to the 16 or 17-year-olds who are living in their own homes.

MS TUCKER (11.00): I was interested to see in the Canberra Times of Sunday, 18 February a little article by Graham Downie on housing. I was particularly concerned to read about Mr Hutchison talking in an interview about how tenants are now on notice that a culture of tolerance which has existed is not going to continue. I quote:

That tolerance which crept into our culture has to be reversed.

He talks about there being more support, but that the way housing has dealt with people with a poor rental history has meant that there is an arrears of about $1.2 million. What concerned me was this quote:

The concern that, "where will these people go if we evict them, had led in the past to an unacceptable level of tolerance of poor behaviour. It has impacted unfairly on all our good tenants who do the right thing-who pay the rent and look after our properties."...Asked where evicted people might find accommodation, he said, "There are 3000 people on the waiting list and they are all living somewhere. They are our new potential clients." But the rental market generally was tight. "Therefore we emphasise to clients to make every effort to meet their obligations."

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .