Page 434 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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MRS DUNNE: It was in March 2002. Following the advice of ACT Housing they went into the private housing market. My constituent, who had a sick wife and four children, got together enough money from his salary to put his mother, brother and the family into private accommodation but, as a result, they lost their place on the housing list. They have made four separate applications and it has been suggested to them that they should split up the application. At one stage ACT Housing gave housing approval to the grandmother and infant son but not to the parents of the infant son or to his brother. ACT Housing allocated the grandmother an approved procurement unit, although medical records show that she was sufficiently ill that she should not live alone.

My constituent made a mistake: the family was eventually put on the category 1 housing list and offered a house in an area that was not very convenient for those who had to travel to look after the mother and get her to hospital and to doctors appointments. On the advice of ACT Housing family members declined the first offer of a house because they were told that they would be entitled to a second offer. They admit that that was a big mistake. My constituent said to me the other day, “I should never have made such a huge mistake.” There has been a continuing comedy of errors about which Mr Hargreaves’s office is aware.

On 31 December, due to an administrative stuff-up, these people were taken off the housing list. At the same time their private landlord told them that they would have to vacate their house on 25 February because the owner wanted to take possession of his property, not that they are bad tenants or anything like that. Since March 2002 this family, which makes a contribution to the community, has been placed under stress. There is illness in the family. My constituent, his wife, the grandmother and my constituent’s sister-in-law are ill from the stress and uncertainty relating to housing. When I spoke to the minister’s office yesterday I did not really make much progress.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member’s time has expired.

Sport and recreation

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development) (5.42): I refer to the issue that was raised earlier by Mr Stefaniak—the meeting about sporting facilities. This morning it was referred to wrongly as a meeting that had been convened by sporting bodies. It was actually a normal quarterly meeting convened by the government. I have been advised that the area most in need of sporting facilities right now might be Lanyon. We might need to keep up with the growth at Gungahlin, something that has always been a problem. There are burgeoning demands for sporting facilities for soccer and netball as large numbers of people are playing in Gungahlin.

I just wanted to clarify that the meeting was a normal quarterly meeting convened by the government; it was not a crisis meeting or one that was convened by an upswelling of community organisations. They would let us know if they needed additional facilities. Government resources are particularly strained because some ovals are out of action as a result of the drought. At the next sitting of the Assembly the government might introduce legislation to end the drought!

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