Page 258 - Week 01 - Thursday, 9 December 2004

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MR HARGREAVES: In fact, I am talking about the value of those plates.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Section 118 (b) says that the minister cannot debate the subject, which he is clearly doing. He has to come back to the substance, which is: why has he betrayed the limousine industry and changed his mind—

MR SPEAKER: That has been dealt with, Mr Smyth.

MRS DUNNE: Why is it $100,000 and not $120,000?

MR HARGREAVES: Mrs Dunne throws the figure of $100,000 across the chamber. Mr Speaker, you have not heard me say that figure. The whole issue of licensing, the value of the plates and the amount of money that will be offered to individuals has not concluded at this point. And no amount of pressure from Mrs Dunne will have the slightest effect on me whatever.

MR SPEAKER: Does the member have a supplementary question?

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Does the minister’s previous answer mean that he will not be keeping faith with his commitments to the limousine association and the hire car industry; and now that he has become a minister does this mean that he will be selling out these small business people that he has championed so eloquently in the past?

MR HARGREAVES: I have no intention of responding to such a ridiculous question.

Housing—community connection program

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, the community sector is greatly concerned that you are planning to cut the community connection program, currently run by four community organisations. I was contacted by a concerned volunteer working in the sector who stated that the word is passing around the sector that a former Labor staffer is now working in your department, with plans to “cut community housing to the bone before Christmas”. Can you confirm or deny that you intend to “cut community housing to the bone before Christmas 2004”? In particular, will you continue to fund the community connection program that is helping so many people in our community?

MR HARGREAVES: I do not intend to respond to questions that are, essentially, “Have you stopped beating your dog up yet?” So I am not going to respond to that bit. I can respond, in terms of community connections, to say that this government has an enormous commitment to people with housing problems. If the member wants to have a really good, long, hard look at this government’s record, instead of bleating, she will get a very pleasant surprise and realise that, in fact, our priority is housing people wherever we can and responding to their needs, whether it be in a community housing context, individual homes or supporting people with disabilities. Our record for housing these people is considerably better than the opposition’s record. We will be continuing our support.

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