Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 April 2005) . . Page.. 1399 ..
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Burke, we are talking about the bill introduced by Dr Foskey.
MRS BURKE: Yes I am, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: We are not talking about the government in this debate.
MRS BURKE: No. I am talking about the bill today. I am talking about the options that maybe the Greens could have been looking at. As I said in my opening statement, along with the government, we will not be supporting the bill.
I think the fact that the government abolished annual rental reviews of all public housing tenants and re-established an apparent security of tenure review of the household financial situation was an important safeguard that would ensure that those who needed to receive public housing were catered for, and it is important that we bring that out in this debate. We need to understand that we do not just add more stock; that we do not force pressure onto the market and private developers; that we need to take control of that. This is not an attack on the government. I want to work with the government.
Mr Hargreaves: It sounds like one to me!
MRS BURKE: No, it is not an attack on you, minister; it is an attack perhaps on your leadership and your management of the portfolio. But work with me and let us see if we can get better solutions. The Stanhope Labor government chose to axe the review system.
Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. I think some level of latitude is appropriate in the context of alternatives but, when Mrs Burke’s presentation speech in favour of or against this piece of legislation simply becomes a critique of government policy, it is well beyond the provisions of relevance. I would ask you to draw her attention to it.
MR SPEAKER: Remain relevant, Mrs Burke.
MRS BURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I believed I was remaining quite relevant. We are talking about the Greens’ bill here this morning and the fact that there are 1,229 people in the ACT who are homeless. The government must take some responsibility. I am supporting the government in saying that we are not supporting the Greens’ bill this morning, but there does need to be a closer look at particularly one part—it may be a small part of the market that is affected—and that is the public housing sector. That is the part of the bill that Dr Foskey wants to see. She says in her comments in the Canberra Times:
Specifically, the bill would require major new multi-unit developments to dedicate either 4 per cent of the housing constructed or 4 per cent of the value of the development, to affordable housing.
I think everything I am saying is relevant. I am trying to look at solutions and ways forward. I do not know what the government are talking about—and I do not know why Mr Corbell stands up on a point of order. There is none.