Page 533 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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If the Greens held the balance of power, then I would look at amending the motion. However, I do not see any point in describing this result as a failure nor in saying that the government has concealed the information. I reiterate that I call on the government to release the report.

At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting, and the motion for the adjournment of the Assembly was put.



MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (6.00): Mr Speaker, yesterday in the adjournment debate Mrs Dunne raised some concerns about a Housing ACT client. She used these words “the monumental failing on the part of ACT Housing”. She said:

What followed can only be described as a comedy of errors—a monumental stuff up in relation to this.

She also went on to say:

My constituent made a mistake because 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 …

Then she said that there had been a continuing comedy of errors and talked about the family being taken off the housing list over an administrative stuff-up.

Mr Speaker, firstly let me categorically and absolutely reject that for the absolute, complete rot that it is. I wish, in fact, now to let the Assembly know something about this. It is clearly inappropriate to discuss the private details of any person or household in a public forum such as the Assembly. Mrs Dunne raised it. However, I am more than happy to brief Mrs Dunne privately on the specifics of this case and provide her with additional information, which appears not to have been provided by her constituent.

I also believe there are some general issues around this matter of which the Assembly needs to be aware. Mrs Dunne advised us that this family were sponsored migrants. In such circumstances, the sponsor is required to make certain undertakings in respect of the arrangements, not the least of which are commitments to provide accommodation and financial support for a period of two years. Accordingly, it is appropriate that public housing in any jurisdiction consider most carefully the necessity of providing support to sponsored migrants. In the ACT, Housing ACT has the capacity to consider exceptional circumstances such as the irrevocable breakdown of a sponsorship arrangement and to exercise discretion to permit access to early assistance.

Housing ACT can only act on information provided to it in accordance with the requirements of the Housing Assistance Act and subordinate programs. Where applicants

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