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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (12 March) . . Page.. 988 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

situations where people are facing undue hardship. It might not be needed, and if it is not needed, then that is all the better. But we have had a natural disaster. Let us establish a natural disaster program that can be an extra safety net for those in hardship.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (6.42): I thank Ms Dundas for her comments about what the government is doing. A lot of what the government has done since 18 January has been in concert with or in reaction to the particular disaster and the particular circumstance.

I think it is marginally delusional to think that you can actually create a program, a recipe, that is going to fit the next natural disaster, whatever that natural disaster might be. We seem to have a pattern developing in this current Assembly of a flight to bureaucracy at every turn. Half the questions in this place are about when or how do you measure it? They do not actually get to the meat of what has been done and I would be very concerned if that trend continues with the acceptance of this motion.

The other thing that disturbed me is that a case has been put on the basis that maybe the grants are not enough to help everybody. Let us talk about grants. If there is a problem in public housing, let us address that particular problem. I am afraid that at the moment we on this side of the House are suffering from the great disadvantage of having absolutely no details. There has been no attempt to try and resolve this on behalf of the one person or the several people that might have met with a particular problem. Rather, this motion has been used to bring up a debate which, at the end of the day, is a means of just trying to find a way to be "a little bit more generous than you", so there is a little bit of one-upmanship in this.

Really, the motivation does not seem to have been about genuinely helping the people who may have a problem or trying to solve that problem. That is rather disappointing. Can I just put in my four penneth to say: please can we not have this constant flight to the minutiae at the cost of decent public policy.

MRS BURKE (6.45): I thank the members for their input. I would like to cover a couple of things. The one case that I raised was just an example-a personal example. Because of confidentiality, I cannot release any details or information. There are other people possibly who are in a similar situation.

Mr Quinlan: He can keep a secret.

MRS BURKE: I listened to you in silence-do me the courtesy of acting in the same way.

Mr Wood: You come to me all the time with cases.

MRS BURKE: Mr Wood, I often come to your office. Your staff work extremely hard and ACT Housing work extremely hard. Contrary to what Mr Quinlan says, I am not marginally delusional. I have actually commended and congratulated your government on the help, the advice and the handouts that have been given. I think it is marginally delusional to think that we do not need any programs in place like the one proposed in

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