Unparliamentary Language

The Hon. J.E. HANSON (14:41): No political polemic from me. My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing.

An honourable member: Human Services.

The Hon. J.E. HANSON: Human Services. I apologise, Mr President. When diligently writing my question, I wrote down the wrong name.

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink: It starts with an H.

The Hon. J.E. HANSON: Thank you; so do I. Can the minister identify where, in any of the Liberal Party’s pre-election documents, it was stated that a Marshall Liberal government would increase Housing Trust rents?

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:42): […]

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! I cannot hear the minister.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: […]

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Pnevmatikos, you have a point of order.

The Hon. I. PNEVMATIKOS: Relevance, sir, in terms of the question that was put.

The PRESIDENT: I take the point, but the minister has some latitude under Erskine May. But I am attentive to your point of order. Minister, continue.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Thank you, Mr President, I appreciate the sensitivities of the members of the opposition in not liking the truth.

The PRESIDENT: Minister, do not descend to their level, please.

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: You are a party of liars.

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Hunter, that’s unparliamentary. Can you please withdraw it and we will move on?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Mr President, I don’t believe calling the party liars is unparliamentary—

The PRESIDENT: No, but it’s unparliamentary so—

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: —but if I have offended you, sir, I do withdraw it.

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY: Point of order, Mr President. I remember the Hon. Ms Lensink calling this minister a liar, and this house endorsed it. They actually endorsed the subject, so there is a bit of inconsistency there.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you for your history. I have invited the Hon. Ian Hunter to respond to what I consider unparliamentary language. I am not sure it is a point of order, the Hon. Mr Wortley; his historical reflections to the chamber were a completely different point of order because that was around a question of liar and liars, and that was a decision by the chamber. Have I sufficiently distinguished it for you, the Hon. Mr Wortley? Thank you, the Hon. Mr Hunter for your apology. Minister, can you please continue.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Point of order, sir. I didn’t apologise: I withdrew.

The PRESIDENT: No, you apologised to me, though.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: I did to you, of course, always.

The PRESIDENT: That’s why I was thanking you. Minister, continue with your answer.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I will try not to provoke those opposite, which is not that difficult. It is very, very sensitive about this issue, which well they should be.

The PRESIDENT: Minister, please continue with your answer.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! I cannot hear the minister speaking.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The triennial review, which was commissioned by the previous government under the act, which was tabled in this place, quite clearly painted the picture of the situation that we find ourselves in in government. The three things—

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: To solve the problem, you are going to increase rents—

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: —that the Labor Party did—

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: —for the most vulnerable Housing Trust tenants.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: —to solve the problem of their reckless budgets were—

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: That’s what you do: drive up the prices and the costs for these most vulnerable people.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: —raid the Housing Trust, raid the assets, sell properties by the thousands.

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: You’re not going to go anywhere else; you go straight to the most vulnerable and you jack up their rents. That’s the Liberal reaction.

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Hunter, I cannot hear. It is one of your own party’s questions. I cannot hear the response.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Seven and a half thousand properties in 10 years; $10 million; they cut the cash from the Housing Trust; in the last financial year $70 million to prop up Labor’s reckless spending pre-election budget. They cut the maintenance budget and they never did any asset review since 2003.

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: One-bedroom studio apartments; 19 per cent and you are jacking it up.

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Hunter, the question was not directed to you: it was directed to the minister, and the Hon. Mr Hanson is having difficulty hearing the response to his own question. Minister.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The budget decision is to ask all Housing Trust tenants to be on the same level policy, which is 25 per cent of household income or market rent, whichever is the lower.

The Hon. K.J. Maher: Your decision or the budget decision? Supplementary.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. K.J. Maher: I am allowed supplementaries.

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Hanson was to his feet before you, the Leader of the Opposition. The Hon. Mr Hanson.

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