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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4366 ..

MRS CROSS (continuing):

people say, you say what you see in the mirror in the morning. I think that, rather than making light of what Ms Dundas has done, we should in fact look at this seriously.

I understand that many of the members in this place have taken this motion seriously, and I think she should be commended for bringing it on. If the government is not happy with this motion, then rather than using ridiculous language to criticise Ms Dundas and impugn her character, it should come forward with something that is productive and just as good.

I suppose what I would look for in a minister is saying, "Well, I understand the sentiment of Ms Dundas's motion. Perhaps we could look at doing this", rather than criticising it, knocking it down and basically pretending it never existed. I think that this Assembly should support this motion, given that affordable housing is very serious in the ACT. It is a serious problem, and once again I congratulate Ms Dundas for bringing it on.

MS TUCKER (6.07): I won't be supporting this amendment. The argument from Mr Quinlan is interesting. He seemed to be saying that the Assembly did not have a role in suggesting particular ideas or putting up proposals that government could follow up. I do not understand where that argument is coming from. I think the Assembly often puts up proposals for resolving issues that we deal with in the ACT. Mr Quinlan said, "Do the work". Well, Ms Dundas has come up with a particular suggestion, which she has asked to be further investigated by the government. Mr Quinlan seems to be putting the argument that somehow this is a direction to the administration and that that is inappropriate. I think that is what he was saying. The wording of the motion is calling on the government, and that is what we do all the time. If Mr Quinlan does not want to seek advice from his public servants on it, that is his choice, but the point is that we are asking the government to consider this as one way of addressing the lack of affordable housing in the ACT. It is an idea.

Mr Quinlan is saying that it is a silly idea, and too vague an idea. But I do not think it is silly and I do not think it is vague. It is suggesting that you look at incentives to produce a situation where investors will want to invest in low-cost rental accommodation. I have made a similar suggestion in terms of negative gearing being targeted in that way. It is quite normal to think about ways of providing incentives of different kinds to encourage business particularly, but community as well, to take actions which are in the public interest.

Now, this seems to me a perfectly reasonable idea. It is not a new idea. When we had the debate on high quality sustainable design, Brendan Smyth raised the idea that there could be concessions or incentives-economic rewards of various kinds-to encourage developers to do the right thing in terms of high quality sustainable design. From memory, I think he was suggesting concessions on fees. So that was the same idea. It is about using economic incentives to produce an outcome that is in the public interest, and I think it should be perfectly reasonable for a government to take that suggestion on and have a look at it. I reject the arguments that Mr Quinlan has put.

In his amendment he also suggested that the Public Accounts Committee could do it. He has done that before in a similar motion, where once again he did not feel that it was appropriate for the Legislative Assembly to make suggestions about work that the government could do, which the majority of the Assembly believed would be in the

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