Page 1521 - Week 06 - Thursday, 2 July 2020

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buy a block of land because it is $1,200 a square metre, and who are crammed into a small apartment and cannot afford the body corporate, rates and all the other fees and charges that go with it. We will happily stand up for the families who are struggling to pay their car rego or cannot pay the rent because of this government’s obsession with increasing land tax.

It is all very well for those opposite to say that they can afford it and that the circles they mix in can afford it, but what about the tens of thousands of Canberrans who cannot? What about the tens of thousands of Canberrans who are doing it tough and whose hearts skip a beat when the latest electricity bill comes in or when the phone bill comes in or, worse still, when the rates bill comes in?

So many Canberrans have simply been forgotten by this Labor Party. Of course, Jon Stanhope writes about this on a very regular basis. This Labor Party has drifted so far from its base that you could not even describe these days what its base is. What is the base of the Labor Party? If it is not representing the people who are doing it tough in this city, then what is it? It is a party that has drifted so much and is so out of touch with the needs of so many Canberrans that it cannot even admit that this is a serious problem.

We will keep doing everything that we can to lower the cost of living in the ACT, particularly with regard to the cost of housing. That starts with rates, it starts by bringing down rent in the ACT, and it starts by first acknowledging the problem. As it stands, the trajectory under ACT Labor is even worse.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 7

Noes, 6

Mr Barr

Ms Le Couteur

Miss C Burch

Mr Milligan

Ms Cheyne

Ms Orr

Mr Coe

Mr Wall

Mr Gentleman

Mr Pettersson

Mr Hanson

Mr Gupta

Mrs Kikkert

Amendment agreed to.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

COVID-19 pandemic response

MR GUPTA (Yerrabi) (3.33): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes the success of the ACT in suppressing the initial wave of COVID-19 as a result of the Canberra community working together to stay safe throughout the pandemic;

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