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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (1 March) . . Page.. 454 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

Clearly, that is an inequitable situation. Until this approach was adopted, the system allowed that, and it was said that they need only put in 10 per cent. It is now equitable. Why is it equitable? It is equitable because when those people are paying their share of the costs and are paying market rental, that money can be used to assist other people in public housing.

That is the other side of the equation that Ms Tucker and Mr Wood seem to drop out of all the time. They want us to look after those who are in strife here and give them everything they want, but not to worry about the other side. We are not going to accept that, but that is what the disallowance motion would do. We have said that we are going to change the system to make sure that it focuses on those in greatest need, and that is what the change to the system does. The disallowance motion says, "No, look after those who are all right, thank you very much." Our system would not allow us to do that.

Ms Tucker's final point was that we are applying the limited tenure only to people in the future, not to those from the past, and that if you want to have a just system you have to apply it to everybody. Justice does not apply just in silos. We have long said that we do not take away people's rights and every time we sit here and look at legislation we always look at balancing the taking away of people's rights against something that they are going to get in the future. That is the distinction here and it is entirely appropriate for us to do that.

Mr Speaker, the approach that we have taken and that Mr Wood is trying to disallow is about helping those in greatest need, but managing it within the budget under which we operate. If members want to change the system, they also have to change the budget.

MR KAINE (11.24): Mr Speaker, I have to agree that the resolution of this issue is not easy. Mr Wood and Ms Tucker have taken a particular approach which I could argue is at one extreme of the possible courses of action and Mr Moore seems to be taking a view that is at the other extreme. The only thing that concerns me is that the government does not seem to be prepared to come to some compromise.

Mr Moore waves his amendments around and says that they are the government's answer. Mr Moore's amendments address only one of a number of aspects that Mr Wood's motion raises. What about all the others? Mr Moore argues that if they fix that they fix all the others. I do not see that at all.

I am a bit reluctant to accept Mr Wood's motion in its entirety but I can see the principle that he has adopted and that Ms Tucker has expounded, that is, that there is an element in our community, and it is well documented now, living in poverty. I am not convinced that Mr Moore's approach really deals with that problem. The government ignores that problem.

In fact, Mr Moore said in his part of the debate that the way to solve poverty is to make sure that there are plenty of jobs. This government has been in place for six years: where are all the jobs? How is it, if that is the solution to poverty, that this government has not yet solved the question of providing jobs for all? The answer is that it is not within the power of the government to do so. Making more jobs available is not the solution to poverty, Mr Speaker. I am not arguing that the government has not done anything about creating jobs; it has created lots of jobs over the last six years and the Commonwealth

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