Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 August 2015) . . Page.. 2248 ..

Again, Madam Assistant Speaker, as well you know from a previous occupation, some public housing tenants have disabilities. There is a need to locate public housing in the ACT close to public transport so that these tenants can more easily access key services so they can get more easily to their medical appointments, whether it be to see the doctor or to go to a therapy service or support service of some kind. As I have said, I love Chisholm, but for some people that distance further away from the centre of town—and it is about 20 kilometres if you come down the Monaro Highway from my place to the Assembly—makes it difficult and it will cost them more. It will certainly cost them more in time and will make life more difficult.

It will be interesting to hear from the Minister for Housing when she speaks—I assume she will—about the criteria the government has in place for selecting sites for public housing. We hear about the salt and peppering, but one gets the distinct impression that the government is just quickly getting on with the job of decanting tenants from these three sites so it can get on with the job of building its tram instead of having a long-term view and a long-term plan and a structure to that plan to ensure that the territory gets the best return on this land and, more importantly, that the residents will get suitable of accommodation. I have great faith that the standard of accommodation will be fine, but the location will make a difference to those for whom, in many cases, life is already a bit tough. Being moved without any say in it will make life more difficult for these folk. It will be interesting to see whether the minister can give us a list of criteria the government applies when it makes these decisions.

As you know, Madam Assistant Speaker, transport disadvantage is common in outer urban areas. Transport disadvantage is a result of a range of intersecting factors, and that includes poor public transport infrastructure, a higher proportion of low income households, and the need to travel further distances in order to get to a workplace, services, activities or friends. Young mothers and sole parents are particularly vulnerable to transport disadvantage. For these groups, transport difficulties can play a key role in increased social inclusion, which leads to a diminution of their wellbeing and their lifestyle.

This is an important issue. It will be interesting to hear what the government has to say about it. It will be interesting to see what other sites are chosen. We had Minister Gentleman’s speech about some of the other locations that are to be changed so they can be redeveloped. It will be interesting to see what the government means by “salt and peppering”. Is it a finely ground sprinkle of salt and pepper or is it rock salt and whole peppercorns scattered so you are moving clumps of clients to other concentrations? This is an ideal opportunity to get the balance right, to get the type of accommodation right and to get the location right so we make sure these tenants get access with ease to the things that matter—transport, health services, education, special services they require and, most importantly, their family and friends.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality) (4.06): Thanks to Mr Smyth for bringing the MPI forward

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video