Page 1978 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 7 June 2017

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Insert new paragraph (2)(a)(iv):

“(iv) details of all CFZ land that is being considered for, or has been earmarked for development of public housing;”.

My amendment is fairly simple and fairly straightforward and I will keep the remarks relatively short. Simply, all it is seeking to do is insert a new clause 2(a)(iv) which calls on the minister to detail all the community facilities land that is being considered for or has been earmarked for development for public housing. This will unequivocally clear the matter up, and give the community some confidence in and ultimately an element of transparency to the process by which community facilities land is being chosen and selected to develop social housing on.

This call is certainly consistent with the notes that Ms Berry is seeking to amend the motion with. Ms Berry’s point (g) is:

transparency and open government facilitate meaningful community engagement and are core components of a well-functioning democracy;

It seems here today, though, that we are having a debate over a lack of transparency, which would then determine the opposite: that this is in fact not a well-functioning democracy, Madam Speaker.

Ms Berry’s notes also call on the Assembly to take note that providing information will allow citizens to meaningfully participate and contribute in the debate. If residents do not know what the government’s proposed land use is for vacant community facilities zoned land in their suburb, how can they possibly participate actively in this debate, without knowing what is earmarked for development just around the corner from where they live?

By taking course, if the minister does come back and actually say, “Look, here’s a list of blocks that were considered; these are blocks that aren’t under consideration any further”, it will give the minister an opportunity to clear the record and say that there is a number of sites that were once considered but are not now being considered.

I think that this way forward is much better than simply releasing the document into the public arena without any commentary. This gives the minister the opportunity to say, “This is what was considered, this is what’s still under consideration, and this is what we’ve progressed with.” I think it is quite an easy, sensible and common-sense way forward.

The documents that the opposition is referring to are largely agenda documents for the public housing renewal steering committee. I think it is appropriate at this point to seek here Ms Le Couteur’s and the Greens’ position on what they are going to do here. You do not need to go back very far to find that Mr Rattenbury once held a very contrary position to this; and it was, funnily enough, on the eve of an election.

On the last sitting day of the Eighth Assembly in the debate on FOI legislation, Mr Rattenbury said:

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