Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1249 ..
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (3.56): I move:
That this Assembly:
(a) the ACT Government plans to relocate all public housing tenants from Northbourne Avenue to suburban sites;
(b) the sites designated by the Government are not near public facilities, employment opportunities and the community support services that many public housing tenants rely on; and
(c) in particular, the planned public housing developments in Wright, Holder and Chapman are inappropriate in size and location; and
(2) calls on the Government to:
(a) cancel the planned public housing developments in Chapman, Wright and Holder;
(b) consider more suitable locations including Northbourne Avenue itself; and
(c) adopt a genuine salt and pepper approach to public housing.
I am dismayed by some aspects of the government’s approach to public housing. The housing minister, Yvette Berry, has a history of talking the talk but not walking the walk. As I pointed out in the chamber last week, the minister has made a complete turnaround on her public comments from several years ago regarding public housing tenants on Northbourne Avenue. We reminded the housing minister that as a backbencher in 2014 she vowed to keep public housing on Northbourne Avenue and that in 2015 the current housing minister publicly shared her fears that without public housing along Northbourne Avenue, the strip may be just about posh apartments for the rich.
Wind the clock forward to 2017 and, indeed, despite the noise issues potentially on Northbourne Avenue, that is exactly the case. Northbourne Avenue is going to become a lane of posh apartments for the rich. The utopian Andrew Barr vision of light rail in our city, it seems, is not available for everyone. Indeed, if you live in public housing you are not invited to the party.
Madam Speaker, it almost reminds me of the lead-up to the Rio Olympics during which the Brazilian government made decisions on who was desirable to have in the Olympic precinct and who was not. They just moved people on. They confronted people under severe housing stress and said to them, “We do not want you within a bull’s roar of our showcase, so we are going to move you as far away from here as we possibly can.”