Page 420 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 17 February 2015

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This Labor government seems to have no understanding of the households in Canberra and has no understanding of how their constantly increasing living costs cripple their ability to cope. Family household budgets will suffer with this increase in rates. Their budget will suffer with the increase in bus fares and they will suffer because of the increase in parking costs across the city. And, because their household budget will suffer, their family will suffer. It is very easy for Minister Corbell to smile about it, but it is no smiling matter.

There are children who have not had the opportunity to play weekend sport because the household budget is so stretched, and families will have to decide if they buy winter jackets for their kids or enrol them in football, or indeed if they can afford to even stay living here. I have doorknocked plenty of families in Canberra packing up to leave because there is no way they can afford to stay here. Is that fair? Is it fair for those families?

The family budget of families of the ACT should not be treated as an ATM by the government. With a 10 per cent per annum rates increase, $292 so far, with ACTION bus fares making a big impact while services are worsening, with parking costs nearly double over the last six years—way in advance of CPI or inflation—and with electricity going up by $5 per week, according to this minister, I think the government have a case to answer as to why they think it is reasonable to continually take more and more from the households of the ACT, well in advance of inflation.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.26): In the few moments left I just want to rebut something that Mr Rattenbury said—that there has been no loss of services with the changes to the ACTION bus network. I have been written to by a constituent—I have written to the minister; he is yet to respond—who says that there are problems in Oxley, Monash and Wanniassa, where they have changed the services, and routes that used to go to the Erindale centre do not go there. This is from a gentleman who says: “As I have previously stated, I am familiar with the problems of people living in those suburbs through many years serving the needs of disadvantaged people in those areas as a member of St Vincent de Paul. And basically what happens is that if you take the weekend bus you get to go to Erindale. If you take the weekday bus, you cannot get to Erindale from the suburbs.”

He goes on to say that they changed the routes in Wanniassa to disadvantage people, particularly in the hill areas. He goes on to say, “Without any explanation, these services have been withdrawn at massive disadvantage to the elderly and disabled people who live nearby.” So there we are: the elderly, the disadvantaged and the disabled are all affected by the changes that this government made.

Discussion concluded.


Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

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