Page 2292 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 1 August 2017

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also need to look at what the broader impact of government decisions is. In this instance, we are concerned about the impact of these decisions on housing affordability and infill.

The industry has certainly been very clear to us that this is likely to lead to a major reduction in townhouse development in existing suburbs. I am concerned that the perverse outcome of this will be more McMansions rather than the missing middle, which we know people are looking for: sensibly-sized smaller houses like townhouses and terraces. We know that is what the people really want in our community.

I could go on and on about this. There are many instances, but I can see there is at least one other MLA who would like to speak on this subject. I think I have said enough. Over to you, Mr Parton.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.18): Open and consultative democracy; government of the people, by the people, for the people and, in particular, open and consultative democracy. I do not think we can really survive without one. Let us cut to the chase. We are talking today about this. We are talking about open and consultative democracy, or lack thereof today, because so many Canberrans have called us, have emailed us, have come banging on our doors bitterly complaining that their voices have not been heard. They have been ignored. They have been shut out of the conversation.

Many of them tell us that they believe they have been lied to. Some of them spend way too much time reading the words of former Labor Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and others. They believe that they have been misled by the current government. It is difficult for us to argue with them.

Minister Stephen-Smith spoke to us today of all of the innovative new ways that her government is engaging and consulting. Most of these engagements are one way. I think most of them are to be commended, but most of them are one way engagements. It is very clear that if you disagree with the government, the government does not want to hear from you: talk to the hand.

This week the minister for banning things will introduce legislation pertaining to gaming machines in Canberra clubs. In his media statement on this topic he declared that he had consulted with the clubs industry. We know for a fact that this is not the case. We know because the minister and the Chief Minister have publicly announced that they will be ignoring 70 per cent of the clubs industry. They have publicly announced that they refuse to consult with those who disagree with them.

Open and consultative democracy means that you consult with everyone. It means that you have the courage to speak to those who disagree with you. It means that you dare to spend time with those whom Unions ACT may find undesirable. What a disgrace that Unions ACT, the organisation which, let’s face it, really runs our town, have written to every Labor MLA asking them to seek permission from the union body before meeting with anyone from the Master Builders Association.

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