Page 2605 - Week 08 - Thursday, 30 June 2005

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leaders around the country in so many facets of our housing policy. This just beggars belief. I ask that the house support the budget as listed by the Treasurer.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (8.42): I feel moved to respond to some of what Mr Hargreaves had to say. Mr Hargreaves tried to gloss over this matter when he just spoke. The exact words that he used, I am sure, on more than one occasion were “the greedy landlords”. That is what he was saying. It does not matter how he tries to spin it now; he talked about “these greedy, private sector landlords”.

Another thing came through in his diatribe just then. He seemed to be suggesting that those who own one property for their superannuation are good; those who own any more are bad. So it is: one house, good; two houses, bad. I do not quite know how he comes to that conclusion, but it is quite a ridiculous assertion that they are greedy if they have a few properties; if they have got one they are good, good on them, they are good blokes.

The other thing I think that comes out is the fact that, under Mr Hargreaves’s policy, some of these so-called greedy landlords are able to access public housing. We know that there are a few millionaires in public housing. Where does that come from? We know there are. Well, deny it. Put it on the public record that there are not any, and that will be fine.

Mr Hargreaves is happy for some of the so-called greedy private sector landlords to stay in their own public house. So he is quite conflicted in his class politics. He is not quite sure what he wants to do with it. He knows that they are greedy and are bad if they have got more than one. But he does not quite know what he should do with them. If they are convicted criminals, that is fine, too. They can stay. If they are serving a life sentence, that is fine.

The other interesting thing that came through, apart from the contradictions about his understanding of market rent, was that Mr Hargreaves got up at the beginning of his speech and said that if you took out the full-market renters you would have a budget blow-out. But then I said, “What are you doing about it?”

Mr Hargreaves: I did not say that.

MR SESELJA: You did.

Mr Hargreaves: No, I did not.

MR SESELJA: You said you were going to be losing $12 million or something.

Mr Hargreaves: Check Hansard. I did not say it.

MR SESELJA: Anyway, he says, “You would be worse off if you kicked them out.” What he said in estimates was that they are encouraging them out. I said to him, “Why? Why are you encouraging them out? Isn’t it good that they stay in their home and contribute to the overall rental income?” He said, “No. It is still a good idea for them to get out.” There seems to be no rhyme or reason for this minister’s policy.

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