Page 433 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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While I am on a sporting note, I congratulate a Belconnen-based team, the Belconnen Blue Devils, on their win over the weekend in Sydney. It was great to see the team achieving a very good win. That will stand it in good stead for the rest of the competition.

Tonight is an historic occasion. A Canberra team that has had immense success over the last decade—it has won two Super 12 finals—is celebrating its 10th birthday and launching the season. The Brumbies have done Canberra, rugby and Australia proud. As a result of their exciting and innovative play we have seen the development of young players—players who started off in 1996 as rejects from other states but who in many instances went on to get guernseys for Australia.

They have brought much credit to themselves and to this region. I am sure that all members wish them well on their 10th anniversary and thank them for being fine ambassadors for the ACT. Since 1996 no other Australian side has made it to a final. The Brumbies have won two Super 12 finals. Australia would not have won the World Cup in 1999 if it were not for the huge efforts of the Brumbies and their coach Rod McQueen. We are lucky to have the Brumbies. I congratulate them on their 10th birthday and wish them a good season when it starts later this month.

ACT Housing

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.37): I bring to the attention of the house what can only be described as a monumental failure on the part of ACT Housing in relation to a constituent family of mine. I have known the members of this family since 1989. As students from the People’s Republic of China they were left in limbo as a result of the Tiananmen Square massacre. This family has become part of the Canberra community. Both the husband and wife completed their post-graduate studies and became active members of the ACT community. Over the years they produced four children who are now making their way through the ACT education system.

In 2002 this family was struck with great tragedy when the mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has now mostly recovered from that cancer but it caused the family much stress. I was able to give that family some assistance at the time. The family was faced with additional stress. In addition to the six immediate family members, five other extended family members were living in the house. Noise was a huge impediment to the recovery of the mother who became increasingly ill as a result of her cancer treatment. My constituent’s mother, brother, wife and children applied to ACT Housing for a house because they could no longer live in this 11-person household. What followed can only be described as a comedy of errors—a monumental stuff-up in relation to this issue.

The first application was made in March 2002. ACT Housing said that some of the family members were not eligible for housing assistance because they had not been resident in Australia long enough, so the application was split. ACT Housing advised them that even if they received housing approval the wait would be so long they would be better off going into the private market.

MR SPEAKER: What year was that?

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