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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1213 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

I do not know which minister was responsible recently-I suspect it was probably Mr Smyth-for the television footage of a whole yard being cleared of rubbish. The government stepped in and cleared a disgraceful house in Tuggeranong. It was not anything to do with me. I had not taken this issue up. It was not a public housing property. The government took action to clean up a mess on a private property.

I get complaints across the whole spectrum about messes. There are problems sometimes when a person who is absolutely immaculate in the way they keep their garden expects everybody else in the street to be like that. Sometimes neighbours are a bit grottier without being disgraceful or having a bad image, and that has to be acceptable. I have been called to places where it has been quite unacceptable. We still do not have all the forms in place to be able to deal with that.

I remember that in the days before self-government, when Commonwealth funding was unrestricted-or seemingly so-there was a lease compliance section. I heard a report once-I might get a nod on this-that it had about 30 people in it. I get the nod on that. Authority speaks. We cannot afford that now, nor should we have it, but it was not just for untidy backyards. It was mostly to do with commercial activity on a lease that did not allow such activity. But it also attended to the sorts of problems I have been talking about with untidy backyards. We cannot go back to that. We simply cannot afford it. Those glory days of funding have gone. But we need to be proactive.

I give credit to Mr Smyth, assuming it was him, for taking action with respect to that yard I mentioned. Maybe there are a few more circumstances where that should be happening. I think things are on the move. I think there is in what I have indicated evidence of a proactive approach. Let us see that it goes on sensitively. You have to be careful about people's rights, but let us see whether we can sensitively and carefully, and with determination in some circumstances, ensure that people's quiet enjoyment of their neighbourhood can be realistically achieved

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (5.48): When we have complex problems in health, housing, disabilities and mental health, we seek to get people to come together to case manage the individual and the problem concerned. We try to work in a cooperative way to get the best possible outcome.

Mr Wood has identified a series of problems and some solutions. With a cooperative approach, we can work towards an improved outcome for our residents. Certainly that was the idea of Healthy Cities. It is the mantra of Healthy Cities. You get people working together to try to ensure a healthier outcome. A fundamental part of this government's last budget was the building of social capital. Social capital is enhanced when communities work together and we can get a better way of working with members of society who seem to disregard the rights and sensitivities of those around them. That approach by the government could be used in dealing with these circumstances.

We need to make sure that our various departments work together; that we work with other groups in society and with people around us to ensure that we can assist in trying to develop a situation in which residents have the opportunity to experience the quiet enjoyment of their lease, their land. It is a pleasure today to support the concept that Mr Wood has put to the Assembly.

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