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Staples must resign, says Opposition



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^LEXANBER MWNER ^ Shadow Minister for Housing, Small Business B Customs

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MIC AH

STAPLES MOST RESIGN, SAYS OPPOSITION

The F e d e r a l O p p o s i t i o n has a c c u s e d the F e d e r a l M i n i s t e r for

H ousing, pe t e r S t a p l e s , of " n e g l i g e n c e and incompetence" and

c a l l e d on the P r i m e M i n i s t e r to r e m o v e him f r o m the Housing

portfolio and place him in a "quiet corner of the Ministry out of

h a r m 's w a y " .

Shadow Minister for Housing, Alexander Downer said today that in his 14 months in the Housing portfolio Mr staples hadi

. reduced support for first home buyers at a time when

home loan interest rates had been rising and property

prices had risen dramatically;

. a l l o w e d n e a r l y one t h i r d of p u b l i c housing to be

occupied by households earning well over average weekly e a r n i n g s at a time when public housing waiting lists

had risen to nearly 200,000;

. taken no initiatives whatsoever to help the estimated 5 0,000 p e o p l e who sl e e p in the open or in h o u s i n g

refuges every night;

. r e f u s e d to c o n s u l t m a j o r h o u s i n g l o b b y groups on

changes which need to be made immediately to assist low

income families.

. watched in complete silence as families' disposable

i n c o m e s fell, in real ter m s , by $20 a week over the

p ast five years as a r e s u l t of higher housing costs

a l o n e .

Mr D o w n e r said that s enior Federal Ministers obviously had no

confidence themselves in Mr s t a p l e s .

" S e n a t o r W a l s h h a s been d e s i g n a t e d to be the G o v e r n m e n t ' s

s p o k e s p e r s o n on H o u s i n g , and w h i l e s e n a t o r W a l s h has been

abusive, statistically inaccurate, and callous towards low income families in that r o l e , his involvement throughout the last week

and Mr Staples total silence is evidence of the Government's lack of confidence in Mr Staples", Mr Downer s a i d .

"The Prime Minister has also been making housing policy on the

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run r e j e c t i n g O p p o s i t i o n calls for a bigger proportion of the

h o u s i n g b u d g e t to ne d i r e c t e d towards low income families who

want to buy their own homes.

"That off-the-cuff remark has completely undermined the in-house review of housing policies Mr Staples has been conducting.

"Tho review we now know is a fraud because the Minister is to the

senior Ministry completely irrelevant", Mr Downer said.

"it is revealing of the C o v e r n m e n t 's lack of concern for housing

that the P r i m e M i n i s t e r a p p o i n t e d to the Housing portfolio a

Minister he never wanted in the Ministry in the first place. Now

that housing has become such a major crisis, the Prime Minister

ought to get rid of him", Mr Downer said.

October 30, 1988

Contact! Alexander Downer 08 339 5152