Planning scheme amendments

I rise to speak in opposition to this motion, and can I just say that having listened to Dr Ratnam speak in relation to this matter I want to remind her and members of her party that they have the power here today to enable these renewal projects to go ahead and to give thousands of Victorians languishing on the public housing waiting list now access to modern, safe, affordable social housing. So I am disgusted to be standing here today to effectively make the defence of new public housing that this government is trying to build both in my electorate and across Melbourne.

I have a particular interest in this issue because I represent the CBD, the inner suburbs of Melbourne and the northern corridor of Melbourne, where we have a lot of these ageing public housing estates and where we have had a lot of people historically also on the housing waiting list. So this has always been an issue that is very dear to my heart, to make sure that as a Labor government we are doing the right thing by disadvantaged families in this state and making sure they have access to social houses, and I am very proud of our record in this respect.

This motion seeks to revoke the planning controls for seven public house estates, all of them crying out for renewal. At the North Melbourne estate, for example, we have three-storey concrete and brick walk-ups which are dilapidated, cramped, horribly hot in summer and bitterly cold in winter, not to mention that these old buildings mean that the majority of tenants can only reach their homes by climbing up stairs, making it difficult and making life so much harder for our many public housing tenants who are ageing, who have physical disabilities or who have small children. These homes might have been appropriate when working-class families in the postwar era moved in, but they are totally inappropriate now for a generation that might well be in their 80s and their 90s. Imagine juggling four children and a load of groceries up three flights of stairs, because this is the reality facing so many of our public housing tenants now, who are dealing with these issues right across the city in these old walk-ups.

I have seen the regeneration that happened with the Carlton housing regeneration project that I was very pleased to be associated with. We replaced those Soviet-era walk-up flats — basically that is what they looked like, Soviet-era architecture — where people had to traipse up many stairs with shopping and with kids. Now we have got a net gain of public housing with modern buildings and a much better quality of life for the tenants.

This is the real experience of people like Amel, who recently lived at the Abbotsford Street estate and who made North Melbourne home for herself and her family after moving from Eritrea 11 years ago. Amel and her family have struggled with the crowded conditions and the lack of privacy at the old North Melbourne estate. These are places that are just well past their use-by date. I have no end of testimonials from people who have moved from some of these dilapidated old housing estates and moved into modern houses that we as a Labor government have funded and who are just absolutely thrilled with these improved outcomes.

So what we have seen is a coalition of the Greens party and the Liberals combining to block social housing time and time again, and I hate to see it happen again today. They will vote to condemn yet another generation of families like Amel’s to housing poverty. They have slightly different motives but effectively the result is the same, because by voting together the result will be the same.

In March the Minister for Planning gazetted the planning controls for seven of the estates. These controls respond to the recommendations of a rigorous independent planning process, that will enable the relevant development of these run-down estates while delivering certainty to local communities. The public housing renewal program is about giving tenants access to safe, secure and affordable accommodation. It is about ensuring that our current and our future tenants do not continue to endure substandard living conditions and about building diverse and inclusive communities.

What we are going to see from these projects is guaranteed increases in public housing on every single side and net increases in housing — absolutely net increases — addressing the waiting list. What we are going to see is all new dwellings being built to a 7-star nationwide house energy rating scheme standard. You would have thought that the Greens party would think that is a good idea, having better environmental efficiency and making it cooler for tenants in summer and warmer in winter and therefore cheaper to run. Five per cent of the public homes that will be delivered will be fully accessible to people with a range of mobility needs and disabilities, making sure that people of all abilities are able to access these homes and live comfortably. That again is something that is very important to me.

We have got projects and plans to build according to what is on the housing waiting list. We have had Auditor-General reports tell us that what we need to do is modernise our housing stock, so we are actually addressing the demand that is there for one and two-bedroom houses rather than very large properties that have sat more than half vacant in the past. Currently 80 per cent of demand is for one and two-bedroom dwellings, so why wouldn’t we build to that demand? I know the Greens party have been critical of this in the past and have tried to scare families who need larger homes, but the point I want to make is that we actually want to build to demand. We know that there are so many people on the waiting list who only require one bedroom, so we are providing more properties that actually meet the needs of those who are on the housing waiting list.

We are also making sure that as many trees as possible are able to be retained, with a requirement in each development plan overlay for an arborist assessment to be undertaken to identify significant trees.

I know that the other thing the Greens party has been very big on — and I certainly saw this during the Northcote by-election — is to scare people who are on these estates about their ability to return. What it is important to understand is that the sector, that itself is very supportive of our projects, has developed a deed poll, which has involved the Federation of Community Legal Centres and the Victorian Council of Social Service, to give legal effect to the minister’s pledge last year. This deed poll will be appended to the agreements of all tenants relocated as part of this public housing renewal project and will state that they have a right to return to the estate once it is complete, that their rent will remain calculated in the same way and that they will continue to enjoy the same security of tenure. So this is really putting a lie to the scare campaign that we heard from the Greens party during the Northcote by-election, and they continue to trot this out, that somehow people are going to be pushed out and that they will not have the ability to return.

This will mean that large families will also have the right to return to accommodation that suits their needs, and the department will work with developers to ensure that the dwelling configuration can be flexible to allow units to be joined together to make larger dwellings where that is required.

We have got an opportunity also to enable tenants to update their requests. In some cases they might want to relocate a bit closer to family members and other support networks or find a dwelling that better suits their needs. We need to have some flexibility there that also better meets the needs of our tenants as well. What we have seen is a whole range of conspiracy theories from the Greens party. We want to address the thousands of people who are languishing on our public housing waiting list at the moment.

As for the Liberal Party, we know what it is on about, we know what its agenda is, because we have seen this in the past. It goes a little like this: the first step is that it is going to boot out about 7000 public tenants, because they dare to find themselves a decent job. That is something we have seen before from Ms Lovell when she was the minister. There was the secret Vertigan report, and there was this agenda to basically privatise public housing as well as a whole range of other government services. The Liberals were specifically targeting people whose financial circumstances had changed. Then in step two it is going to sell off inner-city estates to its Liberal development mates whilst forcing remaining tenants out to regional areas. We have heard a lot from Matthew Guy lately about relocating populations out to regional areas. Step three of course is to profit — to sell off public housing and enable government to make a profit and of course help its donor mates along the way as well.

We know this is what its plans are because it is willing to tell anyone who will listen. We know that it should not support revoking these amendments. Then we have got the Liberals claiming the moral high ground. The only ground that it has got left after four long years on the benches opposite is some vacant grass where the old Huttonham estate used to be in Preston. This is an issue that is important to me because the Huttonham estate in Preston, at Stokes and Penola streets, when Wendy Lovell was the minister was demolished under the former Liberal government in 2011, and it lay vacant for three years due to a complete lack of investment in public housing. What we saw was that the Liberals kicked out tenants, it demolished the buildings and then it left it sitting there vacant, with no plan for addressing the public housing waiting list in Preston and in the northern suburbs, or anywhere else for that matter.

So what we have seen from those opposite is slash and burn. We know that the Royal Commission into Family Violence — and I know this is a report that clearly the shadow minister, Ms Crozier, has not read yet — found that the previous government cut $330 million from public housing. This is not our government saying this, this is not the Labor Party saying this; the Royal Commission into Family Violence did in fact find that the previous government cut $330 million from housing.

So what we have seen is complete hypocrisy from those opposite, who have absolutely no commitment to addressing issues. We have got them crying crocodile tears like they care about low-income families in Assembly question time. We know what their secret agenda is, and that is to sell social housing, sell off public housing in this state. So what we would need here is —

Ms Fitzherbert — This is from a government that is selling off public housing.

Ms Previous HitMIKAKOSNext Hit — We are providing a net gain. We are putting in more public housing. We have a plan to renew and create more public housing. What happens when the Liberals are in town is that they identify all the public housing estates in prime real estate locations like in Williamstown. We know that they have plans to sell off the Williamstown high-rise estates —

Mr Finn — No, they didn’t. I wanted to do that, and they wouldn’t let me.

Ms Previous HitMIKAKOSNext Hit — Mr Finn said he wanted to do that but they would not let him. Thanks, Mr Finn, for at least being prepared to admit that that is something that you support.

What we have seen from those opposite is that they had a plan to flog off all the public housing in the prime locations, with no plan to actually provide for those on the housing waiting list. We want people to do the right thing today and support the growth of public housing.

We have got two sides of the fence here. Those opposite have different views on these issues, but they are working together and effectively preventing new public housing from being built in this state. What we have got from the Greens party is an ideology of pursuing outcomes at all costs, and when that fails we know that they like to claim credit for things that they have had absolutely nothing to do with. That is a pretty common occurrence from the Greens party.

But ultimately the problem with the Greens’ position on this is it is reminiscent of the 1940s Victorian public housing commission videos. It is this panacea from decades ago where we had concentrations of socio-economic disadvantage all in one location. This is the great dream of theirs: to basically renovate buildings and keep people in the same locations — the same isolated, concentrated estates. Effectively what they want is to have a ghetto of poverty, of disadvantage, in these housing estates, whereas our vision is to actually have greater diversification of the population, to have people from different income levels and different backgrounds all living together, coexisting, and to make sure that we do not have children only from the public housing estates going to particular schools and then having middle-class families moving their kids out and going to other locations. That was a shameful thing that happened in the inner city in the past. We had middle-class families taking those steps.

We want to have viable populations in communities in terms of the diversity of the housing. That also leads to children from various backgrounds living together, playing together, learning together in school, and it makes sure that we can promote social cohesion and diversity in our communities. But we have got the Greens party, which really just want to see renovations of those estates, when inquiry after inquiry reports have told us that this is unacceptable and unsustainable, and in fact the Auditor-General is saying that we need to address the needs in terms of the housing waiting list as well.

We know that the world has moved on and we are not operating in a postwar fantasy world. We have over 36 000 people on the Victorian Housing Register, and every day that the Greens party and the Liberal Party delay these projects and support these revocation motions the waiting list only grows longer. I saw media comments from the leader of the Greens party about this issue. Well, she is responsible for this. She was out yesterday complaining that the waiting list grew longer during the time of the inquiry — well, hello! That is the Greens party parliamentary inquiry. You have delayed these projects by months whilst you have pursued an ideological agenda. We have had more people languishing on the waiting list. What we have seen is a meeting of minds. They have got different ideological views, but there is a meeting of minds here politically from the Liberal Party and the Greens party when it comes to this debate.

We have seen it in relation to the Markham estate redevelopment in Ashburton. We saw how they aligned their views there. They criticised those projects, saying they are either too dense or too tall — nimby arguments from the coalition members in particular. It really disturbs me that the Liberal Party pretends to care about these issues, when really it is dog whistling about nimby arguments, scaring people in communities like Ashburton by suggesting that we are going to bring public housing tenants into their community and somehow that is a bad thing. We do not take that view. We think we need to provide for all Victorians regardless of their income level, level of disadvantage or ethnic background. We know we have got great diversity in our public housing estates, and we want to make sure that these people are looked after.

It has been interesting to see the coalition run these nimby arguments and complain about density issues and about height issues, because this comes from a party led by a former planning minister. We know what Matthew Guy’s track record was in relation to these matters when he was the planning minister. We had call-ins. We had Robert Maclellan, a former Kennett government planning minister, sitting in the public gallery on a regular basis. I remember him coming in, watching Matthew Guy when he was in this house, catching up with Matthew Guy to do a bit of lobbying on the side about what his developer mates needed to have looked after. That was very apparent. They were brazen about it. They were not even hiding it. It was pretty brazen. We had massive numbers of call-ins. We had dodgy deals for developer mates whilst Matthew Guy was planning minister. He did not care about density at all when they rezoned Fishermans Bend overnight in 2012 and removed all the height controls.

Mrs Peulich — On a point of order, Acting President, the minister is reflecting on another member and that is actually against standing orders.

The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Morris) — Thank you, Mrs Peulich, for your point of order. Whilst I do not think in this instance I will ask for a withdrawal, I think the minister was probably flying pretty close to the line with regard to some of those comments. I might ask the minister to align her contribution a little more closely to the motion as it is stated on the notice paper.

Ms Previous HitMIKAKOSNext Hit — Thank you, Acting President Morris. These issues are directly to the point, because what we have had from those opposite is criticism about the nature of the proposed redevelopments — the planning issues. They have actually been critical about the planning aspects of these particular projects, so it is really important to compare and contrast what their rhetoric is now in relation to this debate and what their track record was when they actually had the levers of power and they were actually in government and we actually saw the planning outcomes during Matthew Guy’s time as planning minister.

We saw no consultations from Matthew Guy as planning minister. We saw a complete lack of consultation. We saw a complete lack of planning controls. We saw the constant calling in of planning matters. We know that was designed to help a Liberal donor make a quick buck, so we know what was going on there. They did not care about schools. We have had to fix up a whole big mess in Fishermans Bend because they did not allow for planning for schools and for the other public amenities that that community would need in the future. They were very quick to rezone it and let their developer mates make millions. ‘Let the market take care of all of that’ — we know that is their philosophy. ‘The market will take care of everything that the community needs’, according to the Liberal Party.

I think it is interesting that we have got this unholy alliance happening here between the Greens party and the Liberal Party in relation to these matters. It is very curious that we have got so many people languishing on the housing waiting list. We have got public housing estates that are well located in bustling communities. We know that they have got access to public transport, schools and employment opportunities — all the things that communities and Victorians need to thrive — and we want to ensure that we have got more affordable housing close to these existing services to give all these people living in these estates the same opportunities that we want for all of our families and for all of our constituents. We do not believe in segregation, and we do not believe in having ghettoes. We want to make sure that we have got diverse populations living together — coexisting together — and that they are not car dependent and can use public transport. These are things that you would have thought the Greens party would support — spending less time in traffic, reducing our carbon footprint, making sure we can modernise our housing and making sure we have got people living in these important locations.

What we have seen from the so-called party of the environmental movement is them stopping homes from being built in these well-serviced areas because of nimbyism. I can only put it down to that. They talk the talk on housing affordability and sustainable living, but when it comes down to it they oppose anything that obstructs their view of the city skyline. They are not interested in that. Representing a community that covers the inner-city suburbs, I see this play out — an awful lot of rhetoric, talking the talk but not walking the walk when it comes down to it.

This contrasts with our track record, and this is one that I am very proud of. I am proud that our government’s record investment is over $1 billion in housing and homelessness since 2014. We have put our money where our mouth is, unlike the coalition of the unwilling over there. We are preparing for the future through an additional $1 billion investment in our Social Housing Growth Fund. Our Homes for Victorians package will help more than 19 000 Victorians access sustainable housing and affordable housing. It will deliver more than 6000 social housing properties. In addition to building public housing, we are also helping to unlock the supply of more affordable homes for key workers in the inner city so that they can be closer to jobs and services. We have learnt from the mistakes of the failed 20th century public housing estate model, and we will not be replicating this through concentrations of disadvantage.

We have heard from those opposite about the thousands of people languishing on the Victorian public housing register, yet they do not want to hear about the needs of these people in this debate. They think that we should continue to have three or four-storey redundant walk-up flats, whilst we want to give people access to safe, affordable, modern homes.

Whilst we are doing this, what we are seeing from the commonwealth is the national partnership running out at the end of this month, I recall — and not a peep from them. What has happened recently in my own portfolio area is that Simon Birmingham had a meeting with state and territory ministers a few days before the federal budget. He did not give an inkling — not an inkling — that he was about to walk away from a national partnership agreement that relates to the regulation and safety of child care and other early years services. He did not give an inkling he was going to walk away from this national partnership agreement that has been around for close to a decade, yet that national partnership was torn up.

I am very concerned about what the Turnbull government’s plans are for this housing and homelessness national partnership. It is very concerning that we are getting close to the end of the financial year, yet we have not seen any action from them in relation to this issue. Not only that, they are threatening $395 million in cuts — shifting all responsibility and ignoring their tax levers that drive our housing crisis. They have got absolutely no interest in doing anything in this particular space.

The other thing that is worth mentioning is in relation to the Andrews Labor government’s track record in this space. By 30 June 2018, the end of the financial year, we are set to have built 86 672 social housing units — a new record.

Ms Shing — That’s extraordinary.

Ms Previous HitMIKAKOSNext Hit — That is an extraordinary number, Ms Shing — an absolutely extraordinary number — and plenty more are coming, despite opposition from those opposite. I want to commend Minister Foley, because he has shown absolute dedication in his three and a half years as minister to this important issue — making sure that more Victorians are getting access to social housing and public housing in this state. We have got a $1 billion Social Housing Growth Fund that will add 2200 more homes in four years.

We have had the shadow minister out yesterday talking about the cause of people being on the housing list being somehow all related to electricity costs. She happens also to be the Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence. It is astounding to me that continuously she does not see the link between family violence and people on housing waiting lists. I am just incredulous that, more than two years after the family violence royal commission, we are yet to see a response to that royal commission report, which also talks about the need for more housing. If Ms Crozier were actually genuinely committed to supporting the victim survivors of family violence, then she would support these planning scheme amendments. She would not be supporting these revocations. How can she say that she cares about victim survivors yet she does not want to give them access to more housing?

What we have done is we have invested $152 million in our family violence housing blitz, addressing the fastest growing category of homelessness — that is, women escaping family violence. I am pleased that in my own portfolio we have had more money in the budget this year for the flexible funding that we provide to family violence victims that enables them to upgrade their homes through improved security to keep family violence offenders out. It also enables them to relocate elsewhere and pay for those basic necessities — new whitegoods, clothes for themselves and their kids, books for their kids, school uniforms and all those things that they might need to leave behind as they are fleeing for their own safety. We are providing that funding, as we have done previously during our term of government, to make sure we give people the supports that they need.

There is a very strong correlation between issues like family violence and people languishing on housing waiting lists. I really want to implore those opposite, particularly Ms Crozier, to have a good hard think about this issue, because there is a very strong linkage. If she cannot see the link between her own portfolios that she purports to take an interest in —

Ms Crozier interjected.

Ms Previous HitMIKAKOSNext Hit — What? Are you getting a bit touchy, are you?

Ms Crozier — On a point of order, Acting President, I have been listening to Ms Mikakos’s ridiculous commentary about her view on what I might or might not think about family violence. Can I ask her to stop verballing me, and I would ask you, Acting President, to guide the minister on her responses in this room.

The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Morris) — Thank you, Ms Crozier. Further to the previous ruling that I made, I think perhaps the minister may be straying a little further away from the motion as written on the notice paper. I would encourage the minister to come back to the motion itself.

Ms Previous HitMIKAKOSNext Hit — Thank you very much, Acting President, but the point that I am making is that there is a very strong correlation between those people languishing on the public housing waiting list who are there as a result of being victim survivors of family violence. I really think that it is important for coalition members to understand that link, because the fastest growing category of homelessness is women escaping family violence.

Ms Shing — They are blind to it.

Ms Previous HitMIKAKOSNext Hit — How they can be wilfully blind to it, Ms Shing? I am incredulous at the fact that they do not see the connection there. What we have got from those opposite is just pure ideology when it comes to the Greens party. We have got a complete lack of commitment to anything to do with public and social housing from those over on the opposition benches, whose track record we know is just to flog it off to the highest bidder. We are getting on with rebuilding run-down estates in Ashburton, Preston, Flemington, Prahran, Ascot Vale, North Melbourne, Brunswick, Northcote, Clifton Hill, Heidelberg West, Hawthorn and Brighton.

We are building 30 modular units on under-utilised land, despite the Liberal candidate for Brighton’s opposition to poor people living near the Golden Mile. We are transforming rooming houses such as Elenara, which the minister recently opened, Layfield Street, Ascot Vale, Flemington, Carlton and Ballarat. We are responding to the immediate need of people on these waiting lists. Minister Foley has a homelessness and rough sleeping action plan giving more rough sleepers a new housing pathway. There is a housing strategy, Homes for Victorians, underlying the strength of our commitment working across government to tackle the growing issue of housing affordability. That stands in contrast to those opposite, who just hate social housing and the Greens party commentators who like to make a virtue of joining them in opposing homes for those in need.

I just want to conclude my contribution with the views of not just the Labor government but a diverse range of views that have been expressed around these issues. There is a very diverse range of views that have been expressed here from people in the housing sector right through to people in the business community, all saying, ‘Let’s get on with it’, all expressing their dismay at these revocation motions. There was a media release on 5 June from the Council to Homeless Persons, and I quote from this release:

Victoria’s peak body for homelessness is dismayed to learn that tens of thousands of children are living in limbo on social housing waiting lists while plans for new social housing dwellings are being roadblocked in Parliament.

This is the peak body, which is a strong advocate for those who are experiencing homelessness, really making the argument that when we have got thousands of people languishing on housing waiting lists and so many people who are homeless — and they say this in the media release — the housing waiting list figures should be a wake-up call to those opposing the redevelopment of these public housing sites. That is the language of the Council to Homeless Persons saying that the waiting list data should be a wake-up call. I certainly reiterate that. I think that it certainly should be a wake-up call to those who are supporting this motion.

There we have got the Victorian Public Tenants Association, which also issued a media release on 5 June expressing concern again about these matters. I quote from this media release:

At no point does the report state that the public housing renewal program should be temporarily halted or permanently rejected. It is therefore concerning that the Victorian Greens are tomorrow —

being today —

tabling a motion to reject the program in full — putting the lives of public housing tenants in limbo.

They went on to say:

The VPTA calls on the Liberal-National coalition to reject any motion from the Greens that seeks to disrupt the program.

So we have got again the Victorian Public Tenants Association saying that there is nothing in this public parliamentary inquiry saying that there is any justification for halting or rejecting what we are trying to achieve here and urging all parties here to oppose any revocation motions. That is from the advocates in the housing space.

From the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) we have again got concerns. When we had the revocation of the Markham estate amendment in November last year, we had comments as follows from VCOSS:

VCOSS is outraged the Victorian Parliament has blocked the construction of new public housing planned for Melbourne’s east.

More than 60 public housing units intended for the Markham estate in Ashburton are now at risk, because Liberal and Greens MPs in the upper house have united to block them.

Victoria is facing an unprecedented housing affordability crisis. For many Victorians, public housing is all that stands between them and homelessness …

They went on to say:

Politics shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of new public housing.

The Victorian Parliament must ensure new social housing is delivered as quickly as possible.

That is from VCOSS, saying, ‘Don’t play politics with this. Get on with it. Deliver this housing as quickly as possible’.

Moving on to people who might be regarded, I guess, as being ideologically more in line with the Liberal Party’s view of the world, the Property Council of Australia, in a letter dated 5 June 2018 addressed to members of Parliament, said:

The Property Council has consistently advocated for the preservation of certainty and transparency in the planning system. Political intervention in the planning system does nothing for the community, is costly and damages investor confidence in the Victorian economy. Victoria’s planning system should be evidence led, not emotionally driven.

So we have got the Property Council of Australia basically saying to the Liberal Party, ‘Don’t play politics with this’. We have the farcical situation where in the past revocation motions have been pretty rare — few and far between —

Mr Davis — Brian Tee tried a whole set of them.

Ms Previous HitMIKAKOSNext Hit — They were rare. They were few and far between, and there were very strong reasons at the time, whereas here it has become a monthly occurrence.

Mr Davis interjected.

Ms Previous HitMIKAKOSNext Hit — It is no wonder that the property council is concerned with this, because we know that the Liberal Party —

Mr Davis interjected.

Ms Shing — On a point of order, Acting President, Mr Davis came into the chamber relatively recently, and before that we were listening without being interrupted. I am sitting directly behind the minister and I am finding it difficult to hear her, so if Mr Davis could wait until his contribution, that would be —

The ACTING PRESIDENT (Ms Patten) — Thank you, Ms Shing. That is not a point of order.

Mr Davis — On the point of order, Acting President, she is factually incorrect. I have been here the whole time —

The ACTING PRESIDENT (Ms Patten) — Mr Davis, it is not a point of order, but I am having trouble hearing the minister as well.

Ms Previous HitMIKAKOSNext Document — I know who has been here and who has not. If you want me to name you all in future, I will, because there have not been a lot of people sitting on the opposite benches.

Coming to the point, however, we have got concerns from the property council. We have had similar concerns from the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), and we know you have got some friends at the UDIA. I will not digress because it would be a very long digression, talking about your friends. The UDIA expressed concerns in November 2017, again during the Markham and Ormond revocation motions. At the time they said:

Parliament is not a planning authority …

They went on to say:

The volatility caused by recent revocations of planning scheme amendments have the potential to compromise Victoria’s attractiveness as an investment destination, and Melbourne’s position as a global city …

Then we have got concerns from local government. The concerns continue. We have got concerns expressed by the City of Moonee Valley in a letter dated 4 June 2018 and sent to members of Parliament. They go specifically to the amendments that relate to the Moonee Valley planning scheme of course, and particularly they express their support for the Flemington estate redevelopment. They actually explicitly say in this letter that they support the Flemington estate redevelopment. They go on to mention the quality and quantum of public housing in the walk-up flats along Holland Court:

These dwellings are in an appalling condition and require immediate attention. As we all know, DHHS has a long tenant waiting list, and council welcomes proposals to increase the public housing stock on each site by at least 10 per cent.

I could quote extensively from this letter, but the key point here is that the City of Moonee Valley, as the local council representing the area that covers the Flemington estate, is strongly supporting this particular redevelopment project and is urging MPs to get on with it. They are saying, ‘Get on with it’. I know the Greens party have a lot to say about the autonomy of local councils, but when it comes to this matter they obviously do not particularly care what the City of Moonee Valley has to say at all.

Then we have got the City of Banyule, which has a different political complexion. They wrote a similar letter on 4 June 2018 to Minister Foley. This letter relates to the Banyule planning scheme amendment and says:

Council made a submission to the amendment generally supporting the redevelopment, and making suggestions relating to the proposed planning scheme provisions, built form, car parking …

So we have got a whole range of stakeholders here — from those working with people on the housing waiting list who are experiencing homelessness to those in the business community and those in local government — all saying that the politicking in relation to this issue needs to end and it is time for us to get with the project, so to speak. They are saying that the revocation motions should end and the government should be allowed to proceed with these projects. We know that this is going to build thousands more modern housing units for those who are on the waiting lists. We are going to see modern, safe, affordable housing for those who are currently in public housing, and these are all projects that are worthy projects. They are important projects, and we need to see the politics end. This motion should be opposed. We need to get on with it and enable this government, which gets things done, to build more public and social housing in Victoria. I urge all members to oppose this motion.