Page 2596 - Week 08 - Thursday, 30 June 2005

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earlier days, was a working-class suburb. That campaign was driven by real estate agents to see those houses go on the market.

I would have thought it is good for democracy and community development where all kinds of kids go to the same school, same after school care, join the same scouts group and so on. By the same token, experience across the developed world has shown that a targeted welfare policy, with pockets of public housing in cheaper and inevitably poorly serviced suburbs limited to people in demonstrable financial need, leads to social exclusion, conflict and entrenched poverty. It also leads to a shift away from public ownership and to increased government subsidy of private investment property. It is certainly consistent with an ideological view that public education, public housing and public health should be at the bottom of a two-tier system and that the private sector is, by definition, of a higher quality in value. We are seeing that ideological agenda being pursued across Australia at a national level where, instead of a fair society, the federal government aims only to provide a holey safety net.

In this context, I am disappointed that the Liberal Party has not chosen to put more pressure on the ACT government to postpone its pet projects, such as the arboretum and dragway, in order to keep its public house promise.

Mr Quinlan: You don’t like our arboretum, either?

Mr Seselja: She wouldn’t support us in estimates though—she was too close to you people!

DR FOSKEY: Let’s vote on the arboretum. I have heard the Liberal opposition make quite a few noises about the arboretum but they have not actually suggested that the funding for it should be allocated to public housing. Perhaps the scent of blood saw them follow a path attacking me, and that simply let Labor off the hook—

Mr Hargreaves: I defended you. How about letting me off the hook?

DR FOSKEY: No, no, you were not here for that bit, Mr Hargreaves, you will have to read the transcript. The Canberra community is the loser on the housing issue.

Speaker’s ruling

MR SPEAKER: Before we move on, earlier today Mr Seselja raised a point of order in relation to Mr Corbell saying that Mr Smyth was misleading the Assembly. I did not think I heard that and that was not exactly what Mr Corbell had said. But later on, Mrs Dunne, in support of your point of order, hit the nail on the head when she recalled the exact wording. I must say that I misread the context of the discussions so I would ask Mr Corbell to withdraw the word misleading so that we can remain pure on the use of this word.

Mr Corbell: I withdraw, Mr Speaker.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (8.10): Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I thank you for keeping the Assembly pure. Dr Foskey has raised a number of housing issues, none of which I think were discussed in the estimates process but I will respond to those later. Of most

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