Forums today on Housing and equal rights

Today I’m releasing a package of measures aimed at the housing affordability crisis. It’s an issue I’ve been pushing on for years, and whilst it has finally started to get some political traction at federal level in recent months (mainly because the crisis has got so bad it can no longer be ignored, even by the federal government), there has been surprisingly little focus on it in the election campaign thus far. I hope it doesn’t end up staying in the too hard basket yet again.

Coinciding with this, I’m speaking in the morning at a forum in Caboolture sponsored by a group called Australia Fair, and organised by Queensland Shelter and QCOSS. The forum is called “Housing in the Political Spotlight”. Caboolture is in the electorate of Longman, which is held by Minister Mal Brough with a margin of around 6.8%. Unfortunately, there isn’t a federal Minister for housing, which is one of the reasons the problem has been left to fester for so long and no one at federal level will take responsibility for it. However, in as much as any Minister has responsibility for it, it’s Mal Brough in his capacity as Minister for Family and Community Services, so I’m looking forward to hear what he has to say at the forum. I hope it isn’t just blaming the states.

In the afternoon, I’m speaking at a forum on a very different matter, although it is also one which has long been neglected by the federal government. It is a forum on the issues surrounding the Same-Sex: Same Entitlements Report recently released by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. This forum is being held at the OJW Room at QUT’s Gardens Point Campus from 3pm. I have been working for my entire time in the Senate to try to ensure equal rights in this area, and while it’s frustrating not to have achieved this yet, we are nearly there. The public support is widespread, and I will be very surprised if the discrimination has not been substantially removed from federal laws by the end of 2008 – although only if people keep publicly pushing for this long overdue change to be made.

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  1. That’s the best looking plan re housing affordability I’ve seen from anybody. The statement of intent to approach the various tax and grants which artificially inflate demand from investors rather than home owners (and thus cause prices to rise) is most welcome.

    You’ll be battling to get much support from either of the major parties on this though: both seem to associate housing being unaffordable to first home buyers with baby boomer prosperity and will be loathe to do anything which might actually see house prices and values drop.

  2. One of the most disillusioning matters this nation must face,even though, for all intents and purposes,the buildings probably already exist in some aspects of various description design and utilisation.As a baby-boomer without ownership of dwelling the leasing option of the Democrats I look favourably on.As a National Policy ,the Democrats could probably investigate this further as a preferred option in physical mobility for work related purposes,where local government could lease out buildings that are not necessarily built for housing,but have all the requisites.Whilst working in harvest areas such as the Sunraysia district of Victoria ,there was some basic accomodation for fruit-pickers, but all this housing has essentially gone because of changes to seasons etc. and, today, probably holds back people from just getting the fruit-off,and after work having more modern mod-cons,by lease, they would have to care about.Where a form of rent seems simpler,it probably isnt because if housing is good other work can often eventuate in areas,and thus longer term security. Another problem ,I heard about last night, is the problem,well known but not really solved effectively is when older members of families are in hospitals, or have to regularly visit hospitals and pay rental accomodation charges,there is a need for friends of outpatients groups to be formed,and granny flat building near hospital locales could be priority.Or if say like the case I heard in relationship to a Brisbane public hospital a man paying $150 a day at 76 years of age for private commercial accomodation whilst undergoing cancer treatment just shocks me,an outdoor worker all his life around Cunamulla, if thats Queensland,it depresses me, all this. Billeting people out, or a tax break for commercial enterprises to drop this down substantially seems right.The question of family visits overnight,and the cancer treatment itself,are other matters, that need some sort of caring thought and organization!?

  3. yes, i agree that neg*gear and ‘other’ means has resulted in a social disaster for young low income groups.

    i heard u on abc/rn & agree that u are spot on.

    if lib*rats made a policy statement, then lab*RAT% would have to follow suit.

    who owns what? etc… see my previous comments on housing.

    the disaster has already happened – i think many on the lab*RAT side have done the same thing wrt housing.

    further, state gov [either side] have not helped matters over the last 20 or so years.

    in fact, oz has become all greed & arrogance that is festered and fostered by the ‘media’ and o/s mind grind & agenda,

    e.g., we head straight into a global disaster while we focus on us, rather than WE. i have given my views on gwb+cronies. h.clinton & leiberman want to give gwb the right to HIT iran. the free market is captive to greed and i am not sure there is much the samll players can do about it?

    still, it is feasible to fix these matters e.g., a military take-over in usa?

    greed is a lot like a virus – once you get it, it is very hard to cure. this is true at a global level on an inter & intra gene
    al baSIS.

  4. I agree that there’s alot of discrimination and bias against people who are trans gendered and a lot of misinformation.

    As a woman who is an X of a transgendered mtf, what i would like to see is counseling services being offered free for both trangendered individuals and family to help with the grieving process, and the transition process. Better counseling services would help clear up misconceptions

  5. I have followed the media coverage surrounding the HREOC Same-Sex Entitlements Report and its aftermath with great interest. I think it is interesting that it appears Cabinet, after serious debate, left it in the hands of the Prime Minister. The PM decided to shelve it, but simultaneously there were pieces in major newspapers stating that the PM was generally in favour of removing the discrimination. An appropriate analogy for the racing season is ‘a bet each way’…

    I do not know how the Liberal Party reconciles its inaction on this score with its very own Party Platform which states that it believes:

    “In the rule of law and justice, giving all citizens equal rights under the law, responsibilities to maintain it, and the freedom to change it.”

    It’s wonderful that there are so many good people in Parliament expressly pushing for action in this area. Organisations like GetUp certainly help.

    Good luck for the remainder of the campaign, Andrew.

  6. Catholic Arch,Me old Mate Pell has purloined Greens some Democrats etc. with sins greater than wanting,homosexual as having same rights to a roof over their heads and a place to wash underpants, I assume he also wears.Yeah! I am misrepresenting his statements,and I am now thinking of an American web site called Black Hole,at least a YouTube video.Where an older gentleman puts something on his head and scorns now and again.Apparently got up the nose of wonder Christians of a Democrat type too.You must find housing for everything I suppose, everything has its place,and there is a place for everything! Mother Teresa s real history too,according to related sites.All housing.

  7. I’m glad there’s at least one senator who’s vocal and fighting for lgbti rights. I’m not as optimistic about seeing a marked decline in discrimination by 2008, but I hope it plays out that way. Thank you so much for your efforts Mr Bartlett. Good luck for tomorrow.

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