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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 4416 ..

MR WOOD: I think the question could properly be directed to the minister for police, which I will answer.

Mrs Burke: You can do that as well.

MR WOOD: Yes, but the rhetoric was about a police issue; at the end there was a question about housing. I am well aware of it, both through Mr Stefaniak and others on your side, and through my own agencies, both police and housing. It is a difficult circumstance. Out of respect for privacy issues I should not go into any detail but we certainly know that there are significant problems around a family and around some of the associates of that family. The police have been much engaged in attending to that, with some measure of success because total success is not easy, and that will continue.

Housing officers have been attending, doing what they are able to do in the circumstances to sustain that tenancy in an appropriate way so that it does not impinge on the good enjoyment of the neighbourhood, or whatever the words are in the lease that they are really required to observe. But it does remain a difficulty. I think some of the acute circumstances have passed and I hope they do not return.

But the specific question was: why did we transfer someone into there? It does go back to the system, which I defend as a very fair system. When allocations are made, when a person reaches the top of the priority list, in general they are allocated the next available property. I have thoroughly looked at this system and it ensures equity, you might say, in the way that things are dealt with.

Mr Stefaniak: But you moved them from Charnwood to Florey, Bill. That's the problem.

MR WOOD: Mr Stefaniak does raise a question.

MR SPEAKER: Well, he is not entitled to. It was Mrs Burke's question.

MR WOOD: It is an ongoing problem. ACT Housing and I have recently changed the program just a little for a little more flexibility from the fairly strict way that things were done before. So there is now a little more flexibility in how allocations can be made.

The question remains, however-and it is one for society as much as for ACT Housing: how do you manage not necessarily this family but any family that might in some circumstances be dysfunctional? It is not our intention to say, "Well, you are not entitled to a house. Get out on the street."You tell me: can I provide a house a long way from anywhere? That is not desirable.

So you have raised a problem. Some of the solutions are being attended to as best we can-whether allocations policies as they stand or perhaps a further something. I softened them this week, as you would have noticed in a statement I made here. These are the circumstances, and I think in those circumstances the issue has not been managed with total success and probably never will be. But I believe that both Police and ACT Housing have done what is necessary in the circumstances.

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