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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2106 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

problems, or perhaps they are tenants who are just plain difficult. There are a variety of tenants.

They had tended to collect, because it was found convenient to do so, around Burnie Court. In the process of moving people out of Burnie Court problems are being created in other parts of Canberra. I know of a couple of quite large medium density complexes down in Tuggeranong, where a lot of people are living, that I have not had a complaint from over the years. In the last six months a number of complaints has risen because of the tenants who have come out of Burnie Court.

The people of Lyons are happy that Burnie Court is going to be changed. But some of them are not so happy, because quite a few of the tenants are moving into Lyons. I have had to approach ACT Housing in a couple of circumstances where particular difficulties have arisen there.

It is not enough just to locate someone in a different place. There are relatively few problems given the total number of housing tenants-about 11,000-but some of them can still create very difficult circumstances within their neighbourhood. I believe that ACT Housing should, as these people are moved around, take very great steps in counselling and support and marshal that support service to help these people adjust to their neighbourhoods. ACT Housing has that responsibility.

There is some money in the budget-I am very pleased to see it-to provide some means of intervention and to direct tenants to other services, although I am not sure whether it will fix or attend to all of these instances. I know that a number of new "housing managers", for want of a better title at this stage, are about to be appointed. Let's hope that that budget measure, which I appreciate, is able to do a great deal more to ease the circumstances within the community that I mentioned.

MS TUCKER (9.26): I will talk to Community Services first. I might respond first to Mr Humphries, who responded to some of the points I made earlier. He claimed I had no evidence for my concerns about growing inequity in our community and suggested I had made it up. I guess that was his implication. So I thought I might alert him to some of the more recent research in Australia. I am very surprised and concerned he is not aware of it. I have a lot of material on it, but I quote briefly from the study done by St Vincent de Paul, The Unconscionable Gap Between Rich and Poor:

Although not by deliberate design, Australian governments of all persuasions have in the past 20 years presided over substantial, persistent and unacceptable levels of inequality. In the past 10 years in particular globalisation has resulted in mass wealth creation. ABS data shows that between 1992 and 2000 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by almost $180 billion and Australia's net worth grew by over $830 billion. But there is no shortage of hard evidence that this wealth has been disproportionately spread, both in terms of those to whom it has accrued and its geographic concentration in specific and identifiable areas of our capital cities. Some examples:

While GDP has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, it is patently obvious to even the most casual observer that not everyone has benefited. While the top quintile of households in the 1990s enjoyed around 50% of Australia's gross weekly incomes, the bottom 20% of Australians received less than 4%.

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