Territory Stories

Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 28 February 2001



Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 28 February 2001

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Parliamentary Record 27


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 28 February 2001 public housing in the Territory. In the early years of self-government, it was important to put maximum effort into building new three-bedroom homes for the rapidly growing population. However, as the population stabilised and aged, we were left with more three-bedroom homes than we needed, while there were increasing waiting times for one and two-bedroom accommodation. In particular, there was limited housing that recognised the special needs of senior Territorians. The government developed a strategy to address these problems. Housing 2003 was introduced by my colleague, the Minister for Lands, Planning and Environment. It has been strikingly successful in terms of selling excess three-bedroom homes and some four-bedroom homes, and using the money to build purpose-designed seniors villages and general public-housing units. I think everyone recognises the high quality and suitability of the Coconut Grove and Wanguri seniors villages. Everyone who has seen them has indicated they would be more than happy to live in them themselves. In fact, some have even offered to buy units from the Coconut Grove development. Let me just say a few things about the Coconut Grove development. It cost $5.5m. Located at Dick Ward Drive, the development consists of 34 two-bedroom ground-level units in a zone under specific use for senior housing only. That was officially opened on 17 October last year. Tambling Terrace was another development. This is situated at the comer of Lee Point Road and Tambling Terrace, Wanguri. This one consisted of 24 ground-level two-bedroom units, also specifically for seniors. That cost us $2.75m. I had the privilege of opening that facility on 16 February this year. We had the minister responsible for DCIS and OCSAT there as well, and many of the local members were there to celebrate the opening of the premises. I am concerned about the actions of the opposition, particularly the member for Wanguri, in relation to the proposed seniors village at Leanyer. This is an extraordinary attack on the needs of senior Territorians, and it is entirely the result of his own selfishness. The reality is that, following the recent redistribution, he has lost a large part of his existing electorate. He has much work to do at the next election to retain his seat. He has used this project to develop a hot issue in his electorate. It is an act of astonishing hypocrisy for the member for Wanguri to stand up and applaud the development of the Wanguri Seniors Village while, at the same time, condemning the proposed Leanyer Seniors Village. The member claims he is representing the interests of the electorate, but that is patently false. The interests of the electorate are clearly met best by providing high-quality seniors accommodation for elderly Territorians living in that area, and having a calm, orderly transition of people into the facility. I believe that most Territorians living around the site would strongly approve of the project and the reasons it has been constructed. The member for Wanguri has aggravated the concerns of a small group of people living near the proposed development. I wonder whether he has considered the harm he is doing in entrenching such enmity between the nearby residents and the senior Territorians who will move in. Senior Territorians are highly respected in the community. They generally seek a quiet lifestyle and avoid confrontation. I can only hope that the member for Wanguris irresponsible behaviour does not lead to direct conflict when the development is completed and our senior Territorians occupy it. This is a case of not in my backyard. It is not a case of some form of injustice being committed against nearby residents. The government has gone to great lengths to change the proposal to address the concerns of local residents. Any rational person would accept that the development is reasonable and there are no grounds for it not to proceed. I put on record my condemnation of the behaviour of the member for Wanguri for aggravating the concerns of local residents to the point of creating lasting ill will. He is not representing the interests of the electorate. He is helping to undermine the stability of the community. At lunchtime today, I met with half a dozen people from the Leanyer and Woodleigh Gardens Residents Association. I undertook to meet with two of the representatives in the course of the next few days to discuss the issues with them. On that matter, while I was at the Tambling Terrace opening I did not talk about the Tiwi village at any length. I spoke of my support for the Leanyer development. I hope his reporters get it right. Let me outline the truth about some of the questions which have been raised. I trust that the member for Wanguri will report back to his group that he talked with today to ensure they get my statement without any alteration. Is this a high-density development at Leanyer? Well, the answer is that it is not With 65 residents, the density will be 386 m2 per person, compared with only 267 m2 per person for a three-person family on an 800 m2 block. There are only 46 ground-level one and two-bedroom units proposed. A developer in private circumstances would normally put up at least 70 units in the same area. 7516

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