Page 1385 - Week 04 - Thursday, 30 March 2017

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Ms Orr: Yes, I was raising a point of order. I am actually having trouble hearing, which is quite funny, considering I am right next to Mr Pettersson.

Mr Doszpot interjecting

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Some of us do not have as loud a voice as others. Mr Pettersson’s voice is not transmitting across the room but Mrs Jones’s is. So I would ask you to keep it down. On the matter of public importance, Mr Pettersson.

MR PETTERSSON: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I was under the impression that they could hear me; I am not sure why they are interjecting if they cannot.

What is often forgotten in the debate about housing affordability is that there are two components. One is the cost of housing, which is commonly addressed, but the other is the ability to meet that cost through wages and earnings. If wage growth keeps up with the cost of housing or even exceeds it, housing naturally becomes more affordable. The current Liberal government fundamentally misunderstands the issue. We see this through their support of cuts to penalty rates. We saw today Michaelia Cash, one of your mates, calling for a “cautious” approach to raising the minimum wage. I think we all know what “cautious” means.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Mr Pettersson, could you resume your seat for a moment. It is the convention in this and other parliaments to refer to members, including members of other parliaments, by their name and title and not by their Christian name or any other name. You can refer to Senator Cash or the Minister for Employment. Could I ask you to do so.

MR PETTERSSON: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I withdraw that.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, you do not need to withdraw; you just need to keep it in mind.

MR PETTERSSON: Thank you. This Liberal government continually adopts policies that suppress wage growth, and this is what worsens our housing affordability crisis. Unlike the Liberals on Capital Hill, this ACT Labor government is committed to addressing housing affordability. This is because we are committed to ensuring that Canberra remains an inclusive, affordable and livable city.

Here in the ACT we have the highest proportion of social housing in Australia. We have 30 social housing homes for every 1,000 people, almost double the national average. This partnership between government and the community sector ensures that low income Canberrans have access to housing they can afford. This government has committed over $350 million to homelessness-related services in the 2016-17 budget. Over the next four years we are renewing over 1,200 public housing properties, replacing around 11 per cent of our public housing portfolio. The oldest and most

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