Page 1999 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 6 May 2009
The issue is a moral one, and there is a practical answer. There are positive steps which we are able to take to overcome this problem.
Although the 1997 legislation was passed with the support of Labor, it was ultimately stymied because the commonwealth Mutual Recognition Act did not allow the ACT to ban the sale of interstate eggs without state or territory agreement. The bill I table today combines a ban, changes at the point of sale and national diplomatic efforts to overcome the difficulties presented by the federal nature of egg production and sale. It is time for the Assembly to support this new approach. The exposure draft and the discussion paper are on the legislation register for your comments. I look forward to discussing them with you so that we can together go forward in the best way on this issue.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3:28): I move:
That this Assembly:
(1) condemns the Chief Minister for deliberately misleading the community about the level of support of financial institutions for the Land Rent Scheme prior to the 2008 election; and
(2) calls on the Chief Minister to table, by close of business on Thursday, 7 May, all correspondence between the Government and financial institutions relating to the Land Rent Scheme.
This motion is an important motion because Jon Stanhope, prior to the last election, misled the community on land rent. There is no getting around it; no amount of spin, no amount of trying to obscure the facts, is going to change these simple facts. Jon Stanhope went to the election talking about housing affordability and misled the community about the centrepiece of his housing affordability scheme, land rent. We have seen a lot of misleads around the place from time to time. We see them from time to time in the Assembly; we see them from time to time in the media. But this is one of the most clear-cut cases we have seen in a long time.
This is what the Chief Minister had to say on 28 August 2008—and we need to put this into context. Land rent was the centrepiece of this government’s housing affordability scheme. Housing affordability was a big issue at the election and Jon Stanhope needed to have some credibility on it, given what a poor record this government has on the issue. On 28 August 2008, in an ABC report, Jon Stanhope responded to claims by Frank Pangallo that land rent applicants were having trouble accessing money. He said:
They indicated that they were prepared to back this scheme and we proceeded on the basis of assurances from a broad range of financial institutions that they would support the scheme.
So at this stage we have no reason to believe that the relationships that we have, the undertakings we have from financial institutions, are other than that they will support land rent.