Page 1371 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2009

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MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (6.34): Mr Coe’s proposed amendment is not acceptable to us. In the first instance, it does not actually deal with energy efficiency design. Secondly, it only engages with housing providers, not the wider social service sector, and, finally, the amendment directs the allocation of resources in a manner which is not, in our view, acceptable, functional or useful.

In relation to the point which Mr Coe made about somehow hampering the rollout of this funding, I do not share or understand Mr Coe’s view that it will hamper building, as there are quite clear time frames that the ACT government has to fulfil, which is built into the funding from the federal government and we have no intention—I believe this motion shows that—of holding that up. It does specifically state that those time frames must be considered in anything that happens.

Mr Coe’s amendment negatived.

MR SPEAKER: The question now is that Ms Bresnan’s amendments be agreed to.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (6.35): In closing, I just have a few comments. The Greens do acutely recognise the reasons behind the federal government’s large investment in housing, which is, as the housing minister has noted, to address homelessness.

Having worked in the area of mental health, I know the crucial role that housing has in addressing other areas of people’s lives. I also know in relation to this how important it is to have a number of housing options, including public housing and community housing which includes support services for people, particularly those who have high-level needs.

I also understand the minister’s point about contracting out for advice on energy efficiency. However, there are people in this field doing much innovative work in this area and who would make a very valuable contribution to this area.

I also appreciate Mr Coe’s points about maintenance costs. However, public housing serves a significant need in our community and there will always be people, because of a variety of circumstances in their life, who need public housing. There will also be people who need community housing. It is about not having a one-size-fits-all approach. It is about meeting the needs of vulnerable people in the community.

This is a significant investment in housing in Australia and for the ACT. We, like the government, want to ensure that this is done with a long-term vision that looks to supporting a viable future for community and public housing in the ACT. This is also an opportunity to build strong relationships with those involved in and with an interest in the needs of people requiring access to community housing in the ACT.

Question put:

That Ms Bresnan’s amendments be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

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