Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1564 ..
MR SPEAKER: Order! Just withdraw.
MRS BURKE: I have apologised, Chief Minister. Do not get bent out of shape. I have written to you on this too. You have said that you have replied, but I have not received the letter yet. I hope it is the mail.
This property is 82 years of history—local history, local heritage. There was an open day there on Sunday. I was absolutely staggered at the level of turnout. There would have been well in excess of 250 people. I know that because 250 people on that day signed the petition that was there. In excess of 550 signatures have now been put forward to try to save and preserve this property—Canberra’s history. It is disingenuous to cast a slur upon this family. They have lived there and done this property up. They were given the keys to move in, in 1982. We have not got time now, but tomorrow night I may table the chronology and the history so that members will see for themselves that to say this about these people is wrong.
If they do have to leave—they have been told they are being evicted by 31 May—they will have to find somewhere else to live. Unfortunately, because we have changed the eligibility criteria for public housing, they are not eligible for public housing. Whilst they are not on very good incomes, this puts them into the invidious position of not being able to afford private rental either. I am not too sure about that. But they are more concerned about preserving the property that they have lived in and worked on for 26 years.
The strong outpouring of support for this family has been clearly shown. Outside, today, we saw that that was more broadly for the Molonglo development, but particularly for the north Weston Creek development. The Baha’i and Sikh religious centres and the Orana school are not against sensitive and sensible planning regimes. Despite what Mr Barr would like to say about me, they are not. And I and the opposition are not against sensitive and sensible planning regimes.
I supported Mr Corbell when he talked about urban infill; I think it is sensible. We have to get people located near essential services. But the way this whole thing has been handled is just another example of this government riding roughshod over a community. They do not feel as though they are being brought along in the process. I hope that tonight’s meeting between the minister and Weston Creek Community Council executive proves to be fruitful and that there are some changes to what they are currently proposing.
MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (6.22): I rise tonight because I want to mention in this place that it is Heart Week this week. As I am sure everybody in this place is aware, heart disease is the biggest killer in the Australian community. This will be about the sixth year in a row that I have held the healthy red breakfast. That will be on this coming Friday. A number of members in this place have kindly accepted the invitation to make it to breakfast on Friday. We may wander from the chamber up to