Page 2599 - Week 08 - Thursday, 30 June 2005

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Mr Hargreaves: Last October, we didn’t lose.

MR SESELJA: Yes, well, you promised all sorts of things last October, which you have not delivered on. But, as people see the true colours, we will see people turning against Mr Hargreaves and his cabinet colleagues. He can put up this argument up all he likes but it is a silly argument and the public will see through him and they will see exactly what it is about.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (8.19): I was actually stunned today when Mr Seselja told me about Mr Hargreaves in estimates saying, “Look, I couldn’t bring myself to go and ask for more money for housing.”

Mr Hargreaves: Why would I?

MRS DUNNE: I can tell you one reason why he would. On two or three occasions, I came into this place and raised the issue of a Chinese refugee family that I have worked with for many years. I asked Mr Hargreaves questions about them. There was a monumental breakdown in communication—a monumental stuff-up—for this family that we had brought into our community. The elderly mother still lives with one of her children in a house which is entirely unsuitable for her, because it has stairs all over the place, and she cannot get around the house. For two or maybe three months one of the sons of the family, along with his wife, was living with his sister, and their children were living with another brother two or three suburbs away. This is but one example and at least these people had a roof over their head. They had family who could jump into the breach.

These people had been in the private rental market, and their brother and sister had been supporting them in the private rental market for quite some time, but they could not afford to do it any longer so, after months and months—years—of haggling and begging housing ACT to come up with housing they were eventually put in the situation where they lived in one house and their children lived in another house. Is this how housing ACT keeps families together? People who are supposedly paying full market rent for properties worth $500,000 or $600,000 or $700,000 in Yarralumla are sucking up the resources that should be given to people who are genuinely in need. These are refugees who are currently living rough and, as Mr Seselja said, probably sleeping in an underpass because it’s bucketing down with rain. But these people do not particularly care. Is he going to say there are no homeless people? Perhaps Mr Hargreaves might like to go and talk to the chap who lives—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne, resume your seat for a moment, please. Interjections are bad enough when you are sitting in your seat but, Mr Seselja, you are wandering around the chamber interjecting.

Mr Seselja: I apologise, Mr Speaker.

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. If Mr Hargreaves thinks there are no homeless people perhaps he might like to wander over to the thicket there behind the Canberra

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