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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2380 ..



The people in public housing are fine citizens. In the past couple of weeks I have tracked down people from Pierces Creek, now living in the city area, who lost medals given to them after the bushfires in 1984. At that time, there were extensive fires sweeping around Canberra, and one firefighter was the Canberran of the Year.

Those fine citizens lost their medals in the recent bushfires. We wanted to be helpful. It was wonderful to be able to present them with the new medals we had had printed for them.

Those are the sorts of people we have in our houses. I have a few more medals to give out to the people from Pierces Creek, because those people formed a significant part of the bushfire brigades.

We have wonderful tenants in our houses. They are not second-class citizens. I have never stood up publicly in this town and made any suggestions that would give that indication. I have shown leadership-I have no doubt about that. Housing is essential, and I am aggrieved by the stories I hear, far too often, of people in severe stress because they have difficulty accessing a home. That is their right and it is the duty of the government to deliver to them. I will continue on this course for as long as I am the minister.

It is correct for Mrs Burke to say that we should let people in Currong Apartments know what is happening. I point to what we do. We did not say, as some other people who sit in this place did, that we will pull them down. There are difficult decisions to be made regarding Currong, but we went and asked the residents. We sought their views as to what should happen. I think it is good that we have involved the affected community.

We are not far from making a decision. I said in estimates that it would be by December. I believe we will be in a position to say something more definitive well before that. Whatever the future is for the building at Currong Apartments, the tenants are assured of continuing to be our treasured tenants. Whatever happens, they will be looked after.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Suspension of standing order 76

Motion (by Mr Hargreaves ) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That standing order 76 be suspended for the remainder of the sitting.

Proposed expenditure-part 1.15-Housing Services, $32,895,000 (net cost of outputs) and $4,400,000 (capital injection), totalling $37,295,000-agreed to.


: I seek leave to speak on part 1.15.

Leave granted.

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