Page 4755 - Week 11 - Thursday, 20 October 2011

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MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3.11): We will not be agreeing to this motion. What is it about housing affordability that this government do not want to debate? Do they not believe that housing affordability is a matter of public importance? This is the ordinary course of business and there is no reason why we should not be having this matter of public importance brought on today. The fact that the government and the Greens do not want to talk about housing affordability is really irrelevant. It is irrelevant what they think of the issue. The fact that they have failed on the issue is irrelevant.

What is relevant is the fact that it is listed. It is listed here for a reason and the opposition, the Canberra Liberals, had anticipated that that would be followed through, that we would have the opportunity to talk about what is a critically important issue to Canberrans, a critically important issue for tens of thousands of Canberra families who are struggling as a result of this government’s flawed policies in this area. It seems the Labor Party and the Greens do not want to talk about it.

Offers were made to get through the business but it seems that the government do not want to stay long to get through the business. So what they are doing is shutting down debate on one of the most critical issues in our community today, the matter of public importance that has been proposed by me on housing affordability. I think this is disgraceful.

We will not be supporting the suspension of standing orders to shut down debate on housing affordability simply because the Labor Party and the Greens are so embarrassed about their record on housing affordability, on how much harder they have made it for Canberra families. This is an issue that deserves to be debated. There is no reason for it to be pushed back, and for that reason we will not be supporting the suspension of standing orders.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (3.13): The Greens will be supporting this motion. The Liberal Party know what this is about. This is about their continuing to break agreements that are made between the different parties.

Mrs Dunne: There was no agreement made.

MS BRESNAN: On the issue of affordable housing, the Greens actually had an MPI on low income households and housing stress in the last sitting. We had that MPI there. How about we actually try to make an agreement? I know that is hard for the Liberal Party to do. In the next sitting, let us all put in an MPI about affordable housing. Of course, they probably would not stand to that agreement, so there is no use actually even contemplating that.

Mr Seselja says that this is a disgrace. He knows exactly what this is about. This is about the fact that we keep getting the same situation over and over again with the Liberal Party. They are not engaging. They are not collaborating with other parties and they are not keeping to agreements.

Mrs Dunne said that no agreement was made. I think it is worth going back to what happened in the administration and procedure committee. There was a discussion

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