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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 August 2015) . . Page.. 2659 ..

The Labor government speaks of creating an age-friendly city, but this is not what I am hearing from the elderly constituents who are struggling to make ends meet. Many constituents in my electorate are elderly pensioners who bought their houses 40 or 50 years ago and now, in their twilight years, they face the prospect of having to sell their homes as they simply cannot afford the ever-increasing fees and charges placed on them by this government, especially the rate increases.

At a time when people should be enjoying their retirement years, they face uncertainty, fear and upheaval in their lives due to these extraordinary rate increases that all of Canberra is facing. That this government is out of touch with the elderly in our community is no surprise to those of us on this side of the chamber. As we all know, this government is not known for its community consultation. Recent events have only served to demonstrate that this government is not listening to the community. It is not listening to the seniors in Canberra and is not aware of how its actions are affecting real people.

You may well smile, Mr Gentleman, but I think this is one of the areas where you should speak up for the people for whom you are minister—

Dr Bourke: Point of order.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Lawder): Point of order, Dr Bourke. Sit down, thank you, Mr Doszpot.

Dr Bourke: Madam Assistant Speaker, Mr Doszpot is not addressing his remarks to the chair; he is addressing his remarks to Mr Gentleman across the chamber, which is disorderly.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you for your assistance, Dr Bourke. Mr Doszpot, please continue.

MR DOSZPOT: Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker. Minister Gentleman should be looking at the issues that affect the people within his portfolio—the ageing who are going through all the issues I have been talking about.

During the budget submission process, National Seniors ACT highlighted access to health, access to affordable and accessible transport and housing as major issues of concern. What is this government doing to address those needs? Take transport for example—the government is going to spend an estimated $783 million on building light rail. Only four per cent of Canberrans live within walking distance of a light rail stop. How are elderly people supposed to use a transport system that they cannot access? How will those with mobility issues using scooters and wheelchairs access light rail? Our bus network, like many other areas, will suffer to pay for a light rail system that will only serve a few. As I mentioned before, I have not heard Mr Gentleman raise these issues or concerns and speak of how this government and his own portfolio will address these issues.

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