Page 1545 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 May 2017
As Mr Steel quite rightly talked about, we have been meeting with the members of these communities and meeting with them as often and as openly as we possibly can. We have had some fabulous and very productive meetings, and we have talked about some wonderful opportunities that could come with the development of public housing on the community facility zoned land.
I want to talk a little bit about me and my public housing upbringing because hopefully it will mean something to some of our residents who have raised some concerns with the opposition and with me and Mr Steel and Ms Berry. We grew up in a street that was 100 per cent public housing; there were no owned houses. This was in Kambah, and this was not an unusual story in Kambah. It was quite usual that your neighbour, your neighbour’s neighbour, your back neighbour, your-six-streets-over neighbour and all the streets in between were 100 per cent public housing.
We made some amazing friendships. We made some wonderful connections and we had those same interactions that Mrs Jones has mentioned as well. We had barbecues of a Saturday afternoon, we had dinners of a Friday night, and we still see a lot of those people that I grew up with. Some still live in public housing around the suburbs in the ACT. Some have moved on to other public houses across Australia and others have managed, with the help of the start of public housing, to buy their own properties, which is wonderful for them, and I could think nothing more.
These suburbs were very humble. They were very normal. There were none of the great big mansions that you see being built in some suburbs today. They were just everyday, ordinary, wonderful family homes.
Mr Steel has already said that in my suburb of Kambah we have a wonderful large public housing development that was completed some years ago. It was built on my primary school, Mount Neighbour primary school, which also raised major concerns with the community, but we got past it. We worked with the community. We built these houses, and the tenants there are wonderful. They enjoy living in their houses. They enjoy the assistance they get and they enjoy the fact that they were given an opportunity to have somewhere to live.
There is also as part of that land a park so that people can still access the green space that was there. This is not out of the realms of possibility in this case, as Minister Berry has mentioned on several occasions. These consultation processes are about looking at how we can support public housing developments on community zoned land and make life hopefully better for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
As Minister Berry has also said, public housing tenants are just ordinary, everyday, wonderful people like we here in this Assembly are. They can be single mothers, they can be people with a disability, or they can be people who, not necessarily of their own making, have had a misfortune in life where they have just needed a slight extra helping hand to make things better for them. It is really important that we support these people and we give them the opportunity to get their lives together and make