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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2921 ..

MR WOOD: I don't know what to say. I want to praise Mrs Burke. Mrs Burke is the first of the Liberals in my 14 years to have an interest in housing and to be out there doing things. The record of others on that side, when they have been ministers, is to run down the housing stock.

Mrs Burke: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: can the minister please answer the question. With all his experience, why is he still not satisfactorily addressing personal and property security issues; structural and maintenance issues; drug dealing and prostitution, as advised to me by people in the community; a minority group of tenants determined to blatantly flout their agreements, causing the majority of good tenants, often elderly tenants, great angst? Answer the question, please, minister.

MR WOOD: This from the people who took $20 million out of ACT Housing on demand from Mr Howard. They simply wanted to close down ACT Housing.

Mrs Burke: You've got no answers.

MR WOOD: Mrs Burke, I continue, with fine officers in ACT Housing, to address the complex issues that arise in some cases. For you to stand up here and read out a list like that, as though ACT Housing tenants are some sort of second, third or fourth-rate citizens and make all sorts of claims-

Mrs Burke: They're your words; you used them.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Wood, resume your seat, please, just for a moment. Yesterday I complained about the level of interjection during question time. Most of you know that I have a wish that during my occupancy of this chair I don't get around to throwing anybody out. But you challenge me. I just think-

Mr Quinlan: Warn them.

MR SPEAKER: Somebody just called for me to warn you. I don't believe in taking out the pistol unless you intend to use it. I don't want to be issuing warnings in vain. But you can take this as a reminder that I'm going to take my responsibilities seriously to ensure that the Assembly doesn't descend into chaos.

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, let me put it this way: I am, I believe, quite well briefed and very familiar with all the good things that happen with our public housing tenants. I would expect that most of the bad things occur from time to time are with a number of those tenants. With ACT Housing officers, as before, we are working assiduously to resolve issues that emerge, to see that tenants live happy and satisfactory lives within that property they occupy.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mrs Burke?

MRS BURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, thank you for that brief overview. If, as you say, you know all the problems and are fixing up housing, why is my office receiving so many telephone calls and other contacts every day, as your office staff can well vouch, from an increasing number of angry, frustrated residents unable to get any satisfaction and resolution to their basic housing problems?

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