Page 2613 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 7 August 2013

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Mr Wall: I ran a business for 20 years, no credit card.

MR RATTENBURY: That is very old school of you, Mr Wall, but I should refer my comments through the chair. Plenty of people are using credit cards. The point is that people can still access the facilities. Government has to manage the debts that are accruing. We need to review this suspension of the service to make sure that the service can operate on an ongoing, viable basis and to suggest that somehow, because it is slightly inconvenient for somebody to have to turn up with a suitable payment method, they should illegally dump is really of concern.

I simply conclude by making the remark that the government will continue to work with the community to try to find an effective way to operate this system whilst at the same time recovering the funds that are owed to it for the services that are provided.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (12.22): In closing, I find it quite disturbing that Mr Rattenbury thinks that a business that operates without having to rely on credit is old school. It gives you a hint of the disconnect between what the Greens think is how the world operates and, in truth, what is sound fiscal management.

Mr Rattenbury interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Rattenbury, desist from those sorts of interjections. Mr Wall has the floor.

MR WALL: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I agree with Mr Rattenbury that it is prudent and essential that the debt portfolio be managed and that delinquent accounts be scrutinised strictly and recovered as best as possible. But to punish new applicants and new businesses that are looking to access these services simply because people that have come before them have done it wrong is not the fault of the new businesses. It is the fault of the management processes in the department.

Why not change the way applications are granted? Personal guarantees could be requested or a more demanding credit application, stricter criteria, to ensure that the businesses that are being offered accounts are able to meet the liability that is likely to accrue. I think it is quite disappointing that Mr Rattenbury’s amendment does not go to the crux of reinstating this service and simply applies an audit of how customers are currently finding the services at the tip. That will be in October. It does not give any new confidence to businesses. It does not allow them the opportunity to run in a time where the economic situation is quite dire for most businesses around town. Many of them are viable and many of them will survive, but the government’s unwillingness to work with them and provide services to ensure that they can survive is quite disappointing.

Unfortunately the Canberra Liberals will not be supporting Mr Rattenbury’s amendment to my motion.

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