Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (3 April) . . Page.. 1378 ..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
effort to be on this task force the courtesy of telling them if we agree with their recommendations; and if not, why not."
This is not the way an open an accountable government operates; this is no way to progress and come to some solutions about affordable housing. The report says we will not do this overnight, that this will take a long time. But if this government is not even prepared to say whether or not they agree with the recommendations of their own task force, we will make no progress at all. Unless this government comes clean and says what it is prepared to do, the best thing we can do for housing in the ACT is pulp all the copies of the four-volume report and turn them into insulation for houses.
MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Heritage and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.37): Mrs Dunne can get very indignant. I will take indignation from Ms Tucker and Ms Dundas-I do not think I got it-because I know they are genuinely interested in housing. I won't take indignation from the Liberals, who did their best over a number of years to cut down the number of public houses in this place.
Get out of the mould! Mrs Dunne said we get reports in here and we always respond to Assembly committees-we need to, we have to, we want to. I am not sure that absolutely every report that comes into this place does get a response. But get out of the mould! There will be responses and I will accept the amendment, but bear in mind the nature of this report. I do not want to come back and say agreed/disagreed on all these issues. I will come back and say what progress we are making on them. I will report progress. I accept the amendment. But this is a report that has been considered in great depth.
The people in the task force were from different agencies within government: Housing, Treasury, Planning-even Attorney-Generals might have had some input. It contained people from the community sector, and it contained people from the private sector. So there are many different opinions. It became apparent during it that, if I wanted a report that they all signed off on, I would not get a very large report because there were disputed areas.
So I asked them to give me a report with all the ideas and the concepts they could come up with, saying we would take them on and see how we could work through them. That is what I want to do. I want to work through them as best I can and get as much of them agreed as possible. If you asked me my opinion of the report, I would say I agreed with everything. I want to have a look at them all.
Mrs Burke: Well, say so then.
MR WOOD: That is my opinion. I have just told you. There you are, I have responded. I think everything in this report is terrific, and what I will do is see how much of it I can get up. I think there are some great ideas in it. But for heaven's sake, Mrs Dunne, don't say to me that I am sending out a message of "why bother?"I instituted this in part because the previous government did not bother, did not care-the words you used. I am actually quite passionate about these things-as I know other members are and as I know Mrs Burke is-and it is my intention to work through as much as I can.