Page 4262 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2005

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talkfest in February.” I know I will keep saying this, but the minister knows what he needs to do and he knows now. Another six months will eventuate and there will still be no more action. There will be lots more talking and lots more shiny pamphlets. I will bet you that I will be sitting at Shelter meetings and will be told by the same people that the sector is under pressure and continues to be.

I have tried to find homes and accommodation for three people this week. The Canberra Emergency Accommodation Service cannot put people anywhere anymore. Their books are still closed. I read reports from Shelter. The place needs a good shake-up. The minister needs to have the courage to make some strong and firm decisions in relation to this portfolio—none as important as finding ways to move people through a system that was there to protect the vulnerable. It was not there to provide a house forever and a day for people who can make and have choices to do other things.

Vulnerable people do not have other options. You know that, minister. If you can keep sitting there saying that everybody should have a public housing property for as long as they live, then how many houses are we going to need? What is that doing to people?

One thing that I will finish on, too, is this: you talked about homeownership. I was flabbergasted at what you said. You said something about homeownership being—

Mr Smyth: A status symbol.

MRS BURKE: A status symbol. That is right. Thank you, Mr Smyth. It was a status symbol. How ridiculous is that. Here we go again. What we see is the chardonnay socialists at this lower level saying, “Everybody is the same; the lowest common denominator; let us be all the same.” A lot of people aspire to owning their own homes.

MR SPEAKER: The member’s time has expired. Mrs Burke, would you withdraw the word “falsehood”, please.

Mrs Burke: I withdraw it.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.


Motion (by Mr Corbell) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Remembrance Day

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (5.58): I rise today to talk about Remembrance Day, not the one 30 years ago—I note Mr Mulcahy covered that very well the other day, and for my comments see the Canberra Times on 11 November this year—but the original Remembrance Day, because it commemorated a magnificent effort by the young Australian nation in that most terrible of conflicts, World War I. It was really where the Australian nation was formed, and Australians there—ordinary people doing extraordinary things—performed brilliantly.

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