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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1671 ..

The Assembly voted-

          Ayes, 5                                     Noes, 9

Mrs Burke

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mr Cornwell

Mr Corbell

Mr Stanhope

Mr Pratt

Ms Dundas

Ms Tucker

Mr Smyth

Ms Gallagher

Mr Wood

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Hargreaves

Question so resolved in the negative.


Motion (by Mr Wood ) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.


MRS BURKE (4.58): Following on from the comments made by my colleague, Mr Pratt, it is my job as shadow housing minister also to hold this government accountable. I would like to respond to the housing minister's comments made to 666 2CN on 17 April 2003 at quarter to eight in the morning. In crying poor over the GST issue, Mr Wood said:

Our funds for housing are limited. We have a flow of funds. Unfortunately the Commonwealth-as the Commonwealth is reducing the flow of funds for housing, so we're losing $6 million. That's a big gap to make up. Obviously we'll be looking for every avenue to do that.

His claim, though, very conveniently ignores the COAG agreement that was signed by all premiers and chief ministers. This agreement clearly states that the GST compensation under the current Commonwealth-state housing agreement, concluding on 30 June 2003, was indeed a one-off, which he well knows. The minister, therefore, would have been well aware of this $6 million one-off reduction, and I just find it extraordinary that he makes these sorts of crying poor comments.

The minister's remonstrations were a little amusing. He knew full well that it would not be coming again so why is he complaining that it is a big gap to make up? Indeed, I wonder why the minister had not budgeted for this change in the bottom line. If this is the case, it is very irresponsible.

Perhaps Mr Wood needs to push his Treasurer a little harder in regard to the funds the ACT receives from GST and stamp duty. Some of this revenue could easily be channelled towards housing needs. Maybe he needs to be pushing the envelope a little harder.

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