Page 1547 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 May 2017
had provided a chronology of the changes to this, which I did on a couple of occasions ask for from the planning minister.
That brings me to my second point: one of the issues with this has clearly been good consultation. As I have said before, residents in the various locations all have legitimate concerns. All of these are areas which have not been built on before. I guess at Holder there are the school and the PANDSI building but, in general, these are areas which have not been built on before and, legitimately or otherwise, the residents did not have any thought that this was going to happen next door to them.
It is quite reasonable for people to be concerned about that level of change, particularly where they have lived next to that land for a long period of time. In the case of the residents of Chapman, some of whom lived through the 2003 bushfires, I am sure they would not wish that experience on their worst neighbour let alone public housing tenants. We have to recognise that there are legitimate concerns that have all been put together, as I said earlier, in a toxic mix here.
I also think it is really important to recognise what I believe is coming from most of us as a shared commitment to public housing throughout Canberra. If I had been in a position to move my amendment it would have said what I believe to be the case: that all three parties represented here and most, if not all, members in this place have expressed through this ongoing debate shared support for public housing. That is probably the most positive thing we can get out of this unfortunate situation.
I respect Ms Lawder’s work in bringing forward the technical amendments which we have adequately canvassed. Ms Lawder, of course, has a long background of work in the community sector, particularly in this area. And I have to say that I agreed with almost all that Mrs Jones said in the speech she just gave. However, the motion moved by Ms Lawder has a tone in it that the Greens cannot support. It is a tone that is probably more representative of some other MLAs rather than Ms Lawder, but it is still there. The Greens just cannot support any motion that hints at two classes of public housing tenants: the deserving aged and disabled and the undeserving rest.
The message from some of Ms Lawder’s motion is that seniors and disabled people have a right to public housing and the rest should probably be out on the streets because we do not want them living near us. That is why we cannot support Ms Lawder’s motion. It is not acceptable to me, and I do not believe it is acceptable to the majority of the Canberra community. I also think it is probably not acceptable even to the majority of the Canberra Liberals. That is our problem with Ms Lawder’s motion.
I acknowledge that it has raised some very real issues about technical amendments and also, as we have canvassed, that community facility land is in short supply. It needs to be carefully managed because there are a range of uses. And housing, however “supportive housing” is defined, clearly should not be the only thing that should happen on community facility space. The potential for a committee investigation on this is something that I certainly do not dismiss. In talking about Mr Hanson’s amendment, I was referring to major concerns about time and workload.