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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1470 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

significant financial danger as a result of the tragic hospital implosion. That decision was made by a Liberal cabinet of which the current Chief Minister was a member.

The ACT has been riddled with scandals that nobody could possibly forget, although it is possible that some of the community might have been hardened to this. It has been the everyday expectation. You could climb out of bed in the morning, pick up the local paper and, almost weekly, choke on your Weeties over some aspect of this government's performance. But the ones who have most felt this have been their workers-the thousands who have been ditched on the road to this convergence of the economic stars that has given the government the ability to come up with an election grabbing budget.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the promise of free school buses is as old as the promise of a Belconnen pool, and it has been as long getting here. Not once in the last six years has anybody said to me that free school buses would add anything to the quality of education in the ACT.

What I have just gone through demonstrates that this government, over its six years in office, has got to the position of being cashed up on the back of a lot of pain and suffering. That has been routine with this government.

MR WOOD (4.56): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will make some comments on this occasion about housing and the way it is treated in the budget. I will be making further comments on that and other matters during the detail stage.

It has been said often enough that the budget has something for everyone: a little bit here and a little bit there-lots of little bits. And that is the case with housing. It is nice to see the boarding house proposal there; that sort of emergency accommodation is very much needed. I am particularly pleased to see an indication to fund support for people in housing complexes who need it. I find that very necessary and have been saying a bit about that need for some time myself.

With respect to the boarding house, while we would want to see it as soon as possible, I hope that it is not rushed to such a degree that it is not purpose built. I recall strong pressure that it should be purpose built because it has to attend to specific functions. I am not sure that there is any house in Canberra that could be spot purchased that would fill those functions.

I will give little pats on the back there for housing and some rather stronger kicks, I hope, for some of the things that have not been done.

Mr Humphries: That's more like it!

MR WOOD: It has been said we are addressing poverty; a great deal has been made of it. The ACTCOSS report leads us very strongly to the conclusion that there is much to be done. One of the main areas to attend to if we are to do something about poverty is housing, and that is where this budget falls down. It is not possible to claim that we are attending to poverty while more attention is not paid to the desperate need for housing of people on low incomes. This budget fails to attend to the lack of affordable housing for a fairly large sector of the community on low incomes.

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