Page 2648 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 2 July 2008

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I guess the relevance to this place is that those figures that have been published by Newspoll should be of great alarm to all of us in public life in that they are showing that families are becoming very disturbed about their standard of living and this territory continues to deny them any form of taxation relief and is expecting families to live under the substantially increased tax burden that was brought in in the 2006 period; and there is simply no prospect of relief, whether it be the utilities tax, the fire and emergency services levy, the water abstraction charge, the rate increases or the WPI applied to all manner of government charges and so forth.

I think that the message coming from Australians in our community, families in my electorate, is very clear. People are finding the household budget is being stretched further and further, and I think in the territory, which has the strongest balance sheet in Australia, there is an overwhelming case for handing back some of those funds to the people, not simply saying, “We have had a windfall. How do we spend it?”

Surely this opinion poll that has been reported today will send a very clear message, I would hope, to the territory government that it is time that they revisited their resistance so far to tax reform and let ordinary people in this community share in some reduction in the tax pain, to help offset the massive increase they are facing in grocery bills, in fuel prices and in the existing tax burden that has shown no sign of relief in the past couple of years, despite our strength and economic position in this territory.

Cotter Road caretaker’s cottage

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (6.15): I again stand in this place to defend the honour and name of Peter and Jenni Farrell, and I am disappointed that I have to do that. For those that may not know, Peter and Jenni Farrell are the former residents of the caretaker’s cottage at the old sewerage works at Weston Creek. And I am really disappointed in some of the ministers and people in this place who have derided these people who have always done and tried to do the right thing by the community, the government and so forth.

Minister Barr last night continued to do a number on this family. It is probably more like a character assassination. And it was disappointing when Mr Barr conveniently stood in this place and read extracts from a letter from the former Minister for Territories and Local Government, Mr Tom Uren. He did not say that Tom Uren received two letters. I then decided to ring the Farrells to find out the true story. And I will read this extract from an email that I have from Mrs Farrell:

That letter—

the letter that Mr Barr tabled—

was the first letter that I sent in 1983.

She was younger then because this was 25 years ago. She said:

I foolishly—

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