Page 453 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 19 February 2020

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Penny Mitchell said to me, “You don’t know what this means to me.”

Finally, Madam Speaker, there is one particular donor family I wish to acknowledge, which holds a very dear place in my heart. I will be frank; they were honest with me that they were not sure they would take up these opportunities for acknowledgement if they became available, but they stressed to me that it was having the option that mattered. That is what I am proposing in this bill—options. Some families might not wish to pursue these options, but the opportunity to have formal acknowledgement could and would mean the world to other families. I cannot overstate the significance of the decision to donate organs and tissue, let alone the significance of the gifts themselves. It is simply the right thing to do. It is the right thing to do, by these families and by these donors, to have more formal acknowledgement opportunities to reflect and emphasise the significance of these gifts—gifts of life. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Barr) adjourned to the next sitting.

Cost of living

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (10.18): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) after 19 years of Labor, thousands of Canberrans are struggling with the cost of living;

(b) despite year after year of record revenue, the ACT Government has amassed $3 billion of debt;

(c) Canberrans are paying more than ever before for rates, taxes, fees and charges;

(d) Canberra has the most expensive average rent in the country; and

(e) the ACT Government is receiving record revenue from the Commonwealth; and

(2) calls on the Government to bring down the cost of living for families in Canberra.

In many ways, consistent with what Ms Cheyne has just said, there are some things that are central to what we are in this place to do and to achieve. Our primary function is to make the lives of Canberrans better. We are charged with the responsibility to improve this city and to do everything we can to ensure that Canberrans are having the best lives possible.

That is why the cost of living in this city should be central to our thinking in this place. At the moment, I am concerned about the thousands of Canberra families that are struggling because of the taxes, rates, fees, charges and other costs that exist in this city that are pricing them out of the market. It should not be the case that so many Canberra families cannot afford to live here. It should not be the case that people have

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