Page 634 - Week 02 - Thursday, 6 March 2008

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The first line is the relevant one—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you.

MR SMYTH: and the accusation of the minister is false and he should stand and apologise and withdraw the statement.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Enough said.

Mr Barr: Mr Speaker, I will withdraw the statement around soliciting, but it is clear the conversations took place and I am very pleased that they have been aired publicly.

Government policy—impact on young families

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Burke, Mrs Dunne, Dr Foskey, Mr Gentleman, Ms MacDonald, Ms Porter, Mr Pratt, Mr Seselja, Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mr Stefaniak be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The impact of ACT Government policy on young families.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (3.55): Mr Speaker, I do not often draw one of these, so I think I might go and get a Powerball ticket tonight.

In considering this matter of public importance, the impact of ACT government policies on young families, I thought about the issues of concern to young families in Canberra. There are a number of issues, but I have picked on four issues which are very important to young families and it is those I wish to address today. I rate them in no particular order of importance because they are all important. Some might be considered more important than others but they are all certainly issues of concern.

The first issue of concern for young families—and this must be right up there near the top of the list, if not the top of the list—is housing affordability; that great Australian dream of young Australian families to own their own home, albeit often with long-term loan financing, which is getting more and more expensive, thanks to Mr Rudd and co. The great Australian dream for young Australian families is to bring up their kids in the family home and do simple things like play cricket with their children in their own backyard, hang the washing out on their own Hills hoist, grow vegies, if they like growing vegies, in their own little vegie patch, and even things like perpetuating their kids’ handprints in the newly laid concrete path leading down to that vegie patch.

But what have we seen happening in Canberra? Is that great Australian dream now just that—a dream? Indeed, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): Just to assist you, Mr Stefaniak, it is now Assistant Speaker.

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