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Tuesday, 18 June 1996
Page: 1729

Senator NEWMAN (Minister for Social Security and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women)(6.13 p.m.) —The government points out to the chamber that under `Objects' the word `affordable' appears in clause 1 and again in clause 2. The whole focus of the reforms is to achieve affordability in a fair and equitable manner across all people seeking to rent or needing to rent their accommodation. Looking at those objects, and understanding why these reforms are being pursued in the first place, it is clear that the aim is to make it easier to afford housing.

I understand the concerns that Senator Margetts may have that would encourage her to propose this amendment. I suggest to her that it makes it more restrictive in what flexibility you may be able to make use of in terms of assisting housing to be more affordable. Therefore, we are committed to affordable housing. We are not prepared to accept this amendment because we do not think it advances that cause as much as it might. It is possibly somewhat restrictive. Therefore, the government opposes the amendment.

Amendment negatived.