Page 3020 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013
MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (4.00), in reply: Thank you, Mr Hanson, for your comments. Yes, you are absolutely right. The work is not over; the work, in fact, is just beginning. It is not very often that I have got upset in this chamber over the last five years, but I have to say to you that I am very upset this afternoon. I am very upset for a number of reasons. Primarily, we have a Minister for Ageing who has not got the courtesy to even stay here for the conclusion of this debate on something that should be one of his major concerns.
I am very upset that the Minister for Ageing spent about five minutes talking about an issue that is very important to a very large percentage of our community. I am very upset that that minister, in that five minutes, spent half the time talking about how this is a federal issue and how we are hypocrites for bringing these points up. I cannot understand the duplicity of this minister in the way that he has handled this debate so far. The Treasurer also spent about five minutes putting his side of this debate, and he also spent about half the time talking about the fact that this is a federal issue.
The issues that I have brought up have been issues that affect a lot of our Canberra community—retirees, self-funded retirees. The latter, the self-funded retirees, do not seem to be on anyone’s agenda apart from ours. Mr Rattenbury has made it very clear that the policies that his party pursues do not include the self-funded retirees. I note that the minister has now come back into the chamber. I am very glad you have come here to listen to some of the points we are debating, minister.
You said that some of the points I made were actually quite complimentary and that you would agree with them. But you then said—and I do not want to verbal you, if I am misquoting you here—that this was a very partisan approach. It is not partisan. I am not standing up here for the Liberal constituency or the Labor constituency; I am standing up here for all three constituencies—Liberal, Labor and the Greens.
With respect to the people that I have spoken to, the people that have brought these issues to my attention, a large percentage of them, Mr Rattenbury, you might be interested to know, represent a lot of your constituents. They are people who have done a lot of work in the community and have retired—early retirees, self-funded retirees—and they are very disappointed with what their own representative has done for them. They have come to me, and I am bringing these issues up before you now.
How is it partisan to recognise the work this government has done in offering some of the options that are available to senior Canberrans? I quoted all these points. I said that Canberrans have energy concessions for electricity and gas. There is a maximum combined utility rebate of $374. There are water rates concessions, a 68 per cent a quarter rebate, and sewerage attracts the same. The ACT spectacle service provides one free pair of bifocal or trifocal glasses every 24 months.
Mr Barr interjecting—
MR DOSZPOT: They are amongst the pensioners who you do support. If you want to make fun of that, Mr Barr, I am actually—