Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Friday, 27 June 2008) . . Page.. 2323 ..
to pick up strange distributions at all hours of the night. Her own driveway is choked with these people’s cars. She is too frightened to go out and ask them to remove their cars.
Where is our priority here? Is our priority with a very old lady of Maltese background who does not know what to do and is too frightened to go to the police so her daughter, living in Condor, comes to me out of frustration? (Second speaking period taken.) In the interests of my constituents, Mr Speaker, if I need to use all 10 minutes, I will. I will be as economical as I possibly can because I know that there are other priorities here tonight. This poor lady does not know what to do. I am advised by the daughter that ACT Housing have been advised. The daughter, at wit’s end, has rung the minister’s office, but she got short shrift there.
I have just given a snapshot of about half a dozen examples from Theodore, Richardson, Condor, Kambah and Mawson, and I could go on. I could tell you about the night I went out with St Vinnie’s and participated in a food distribution activity and met the poor Irishman who lives in Stuart Flats. He is coming out of a tailspin and trying to get his life back together. He is a good guy, and the St Vinnie’s guys know him to be a good guy, and his neighbour is trying to burn him down. What chance has he got? What the hell is the department doing about this? Where is the circuit breaker?
Earlier Dr Foskey referred to Mrs Burke’s reaction to this. Mrs Burke is simply reacting to what I am reacting to and what Mr Mulcahy is reacting to. She worries whether Mrs Burke has been doing this for political purposes. No, she is not. Mrs Burke, like all of us on this side of the house—and, apparently, Mr Mulcahy—are concerned for the amenity of life in our suburbs. That is what Mrs Burke is concerned about.
Mrs Burke, like all of us, is concerned about the duty of care that we have for our children. If an issue has to be looked at, that is an exercise of duty of care. There is also the duty of care to all residents in suburban ACT. Everybody deserves the right to live in peace and quiet with their neighbours. All neighbours have responsibilities and there should be consequences if people break society’s rules. Clearly, that is the case. ACT Housing does not seem to be able to grapple with it. There is no will. There is no expediency here to sort these matters out at all, and it goes on and on and on and on and it damn well has to stop.
This inability of the government to act is killing the life in some of our neighbourhoods. I am afraid it is part of the dilemma that exists in Labor administrations across this country. Some time in the last two decades in their headlong race to be politically correct they have allowed unfit people to man these housing departments and they then sympathise with people who deserve to be given the turf, the heave-ho. These things just go on and on. I think the headlines that we see in our newspapers these days are a manifestation of that particular problem. Labor drops the ball, and it is dropping the ball here in this particular matter.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.14): Words fail me! We have just heard what could only be described as the most