Page 3196 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 19 August 2008

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The ACT is a small place and, however you choose to look at it, things do quite often get personal. It is possible for someone running a small organisation to cast the relevant minister or section of his or her department in a poor light and for there to be hostile reactions that look and smell like vengeance. Small community organisations will feel vulnerable if these conditions remain, requiring subservience to the housing commissioner in regard to all of their operations. It is as simple as that.

Mr Hargreaves: That is a pretty ordinary accusation. I’ll show you vengeance. You’ll find out about vengeance.


DR FOSKEY: Mr Deputy Speaker, this is about perception; it is not about actuality. We are all aware that perception counts for quite a lot in politics and elsewhere. The reason why these amendments are included here is not to arouse the minister’s ire—

Mr Hargreaves: Well, it worked.

DR FOSKEY: but to ensure that the comments made by the community housing providers are reflected in the legislation because it does seem to me—

Mr Hargreaves: Not happy, Jan.

DR FOSKEY: to be very clear that the community housing providers do have an argument here.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Minister, if you want to play noisily to the gallery, please go and join the gallery.

Mr Hargreaves: A point of order on your ruling, Mr Deputy Speaker: I think that was an offensive remark. I do not play to galleries; I do not have to.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: The statement that I made, minister, stands.

DR FOSKEY: I would be very disturbed if the minister’s reactions, which I believe are disproportionate and really are out of order, colour his response to my amendments. He would be well aware that these amendments have been made with a great deal of thought. I appreciate the fact that his department has taken on a lot of our concerns and other concerns expressed by community housing providers, and I commend that. I certainly commend these amendments to the Assembly.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (11.53): The government will not be supporting these amendments. With respect to the effect of proposed amendments 3 to 6, I will not make a speech on amendments 5 and 6; I will just indicate our lack of support at the time. I will not bother to speak to them then; I will do it now. These would remove the ability of the commissioner to exercise intervention powers in relation to community housing providers. It is not agreed that

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