Page 2844 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 24 June 2009

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Questions without notice

Land—rent scheme

MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. During the estimates hearing on 28 May 2009 you stated:

We are not lenders; we are not a financial institution; we do not lend money for the purchase or construction of houses.

In the half-page advertisement you placed in the Canberra Times today, the copy states:

The ACT Government is pleased to partner with Community CPS Australia …

Furthermore, the Community CPS website states:

We have partnered with the ACT Government …

Chief Minister, what is the precise nature of this partnership between the ACT government and Community CPS, and will you table the details of the agreement with the CPS credit union by close of business today? If not, why not?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Seselja for the question. The nature of the partnership is that the land rent scheme requires the provision of land that is in the possession of the ACT government. We are providing land for the land rent scheme and we are making land available to be rented, to facilitate the introduction of a land rent scheme.

But we are not financiers. In order to build a house on land provided by the ACT government, there is a need, a need which Mr Seselja has pointed out regularly in recent times—indeed, until yesterday, a facility which Mr Seselja stated dogmatically, absolutely, without equivocation, would never be achieved. Up until lunchtime yesterday, the dogmatic, categoric, unequivocal statement was “no financial institution will ever lend against this product—ever”.

As of today, the mantra has changed from “no lender will ever lend against this product” to “no borrower will ever borrow against this product”. We see this rapid change from the categorical condemnation of the scheme on the basis that no lender would ever be prepared to be associated with the scheme to the position of “all right, there is a lender, and of course we are happy to trash the lender as well as trashing the scheme of the government”. The lender, the CPS, the most significant credit union in Australia, is just expendable in the context of Mr Seselja’s political ego and his, quite frankly, frenzied, pathological opposition to families on incomes under $75,000 ever daring to want to own their home.

At the heart of this, when one tries to drill down into what is the basis of Mr Seselja’s pathological objection to a land rent scheme so that families on household incomes of less than $75,000 might own their own home, one is really forced to the conclusion—I am sure there is a PhD at the ANU for somebody in this—that what is at the heart of

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