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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 4256 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Once operational, the debt review committee will allow ACT Housing to respond responsively and sensitively to victims of domestic violence, tenants and families with high and complex needs, and vulnerable tenants who have incurred debt through the misbehaviour of others.

I will also be moving to provide housing assistance to temporary protection visa holders who are homeless or at risk of homelessness or who are for other reasons in extreme hardship. Currently TPV holders are generally not eligible for public housing assistance in the ACT.

Ms Tucker: Hear, hear! Well done!

MR WOOD: You have had a deal to say about that over a period, Ms Tucker.

I propose to amend the public rental housing assistance program to remove the barrier that makes TPV holders technically ineligible for assistance and avoid going around by other means to assist them. They must of course meet other normal eligibility conditions.

I think those last comments I have made about the changes that I have announced today are very significant, considerably assisting people who find themselves in difficult circumstances. I think we are moving further in the direction that we all want, especially Ms Tucker who has been an advocate for public housing and for people in difficult housing circumstances for a long time.

I believe we have accommodated the agreement we made, and we will bring back the amendments later in this year. I am sure this year and next year we will continue the debate with Ms Tucker, whether she is Ms Tucker or Senator Tucker, about the need of housing for people who are in difficulty in this community.

Workers Compensation Amendment Bill 2003 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 25 September 2003, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR PRATT (6.22): Mr Speaker, we will be supporting the government's position on this. The Workers Compensation Amendment Bill 2003 (No 2) has had a lot of attention from both Canberra business and members of this Assembly. This bill has been scrutinised by all, and amendments such as Ms Dundas's and the government's have resulted from feedback from Canberra business and the wider community.

As such, Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those from both Canberra business and the wider community who provided feedback to not only my office and the Liberal opposition but to all members and the government. This, Mr Speaker, is an example of consultative legislation that results in positive legislation for all involved.

I have been carefully through this bill, Mr Speaker, and attended several briefings from the Office of Industrial Relations of the Chief Minister's Department, and numerous

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