Page 4257 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2005

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

There it is, the broken record: “You left us 1,000 down.” I do not accept the number. Prove the number, minister. But the question for you is: how many have you made up? How many, with all the money that you quote, $107 million spent on housing? We spent relative amounts to that as well—$30 million this year, $20 million that year. They are great numbers. What did it result in? If you had an answer and if the number had gone up, you would be spruiking; you would be down here like the head rooster crowing about your success.

The very fact that you are not crowing, Mr Hargreaves, which you do so often and so foolishly, is an indication that, for all the money that you have spent, we have probably got less public housing under the Stanhope Labor government. And that is the problem. That is the point of the motion. When you are spending it, it is not working.

Mr Hargreaves: We started 1,000 down.

MR SMYTH: That is your claim. Prove it.

Mr Hargreaves: We started 1,000 down.

MR SMYTH: How many is it now? Mr Hargreaves constantly interjects, “We were 1,000 down.” Good. Tell me how many you are up, Mr Hargreaves. End the argument here. I will give you leave to rise in your place and speak again.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hargreaves! Mr Smyth, it would be helpful if you did not respond to any disorderly interjections.

MR SMYTH: You are right, Mr Speaker. The argument can be ended immediately if Mr Hargreaves—and I will give Mr Hargreaves the courtesy, if he wants—jumps up and say that it is two houses more, it is seven houses more, it is 70 houses more or it is 700 houses more. I am sure he has got the number. But the very fact that he does not rise to tell us how many extra houses, how many extra people are accommodated under the Stanhope Labor government’s housing reforms, is an indication that there are not any more.

Then he says that the rate went from 54 to 79. Does that mean that 79 premises have become empty because people are leaving the system in droves because you are not maintaining them? What is the net gain? You say that you placed 79 people in a given month. That is a good thing. But how many left? What is the net growth? Did it lead to more people being housed, or was it fewer? These are the questions that the minister refuses to answer.

He made the claim, “We fix windows and doors.” The previous government did that; the previous government to that did that; the Follett government before that did that; and the Alliance government before that did that. They all fixed windows and doors. But it does not tell us how many more people you have housed and how you are managing.

Mr Gentleman: A thousand down!

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .