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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 12487

Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (13:54): As I have previously said in this place, in the lead-up to the 2010 federal election I campaigned to allow the empty RAAF base houses in Darwin to be used for the community and to prevent their destruction or removal. I have continued to fight to ensure that these houses are not sitting vacant. To this end I prepared a private member's motion, which was unanimously supported by this House back in June. The motion called for the Gillard Labor government to hand over the 395 houses to Defence Housing Australia, making them available to Territorians.

This motion was passed by this House and the Gillard Labor government has defied the will of the House. There are now over 200 of these houses sitting vacant and rotting away. The government claim they need significant repair. If the government put people in these houses, the repair bills would be significantly less. The community is still outraged that this wasteful government will ignore the will of the people and this parliament.

The Henderson Labor government should be lobbying for these houses as well. The Leader of the Opposition, Terry Mills, and former member for Solomon Mr David Tollner support my call for these houses to be made available to Territorians. Why are this government and the Henderson Labor government ignoring the fact that there is a desperate need for housing in the Territory? They need to support the interests of local businesses, which rely on support from local residents, by excising from Commonwealth ownership the residential housing area of RAAF Base Darwin. I ask again that the Gillard Labor government hand over these houses to Territorians and make them available for Territorians.