MS TIERNEY (Minister for Training and Skills) (16:53:55) — I do wish to make a contribution on the matter that has been brought to the chamber by Mr Davis in respect of the Markham estate. I would like to also continue the theme that Mr Mulino has developed in respect of those opposite actually bringing forward a motion that really is primarily about stopping the development of public housing being delivered in this state. It is a continuation of the do-nothing approach that we have seen from the coalition when they were in government and ever since.
This is not the appropriate place to deal with this matter, to overturn this decision, a decision that was arrived at through a proper planning process. Revoking this amendment will set, I believe, a very terrible precedent for planning and development in this state. It undermines the proper planning process that has been adhered to, and indeed it has the potential to weaken investor confidence in this state. Of course it also will lead to Victorians being denied a chance to have a secure and affordable housing arrangement in a good location close to jobs, close to services and close to public transport.
What we had here was an estate that was a shocking example of neglect in public housing. There were four years where the previous government was in power, and they did absolutely nothing. We made a commitment as a Labor government that the state of the estate was so bad that really it needed to be demolished and we needed to start all over again, and that is what we are attempting to do in relation to this area and the surrounding community. By 2015 there were 56 dwellings at the Markham —
Mr Davis — On a point of order, Acting President, it is my understanding that this motion is time sensitive because of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Section 38(2) requires that revocations be put and carried or not within a 10-sitting-day period. It is my understanding that if the chamber does not resolve this issue tonight, the next sitting day when this would be dealt with would be the next sitting Wednesday, and that would be more than the 10 sitting days. Consequently if the minister continues to talk it out, there will be no opportunity to vote on this matter. Is that correct in the time period?
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Purcell) — Thank you, Mr Davis. That is correct, but it is not a point of order and the minister has the floor.
Ms TIERNEY — As I was saying prior to the point of order, there were 56 dwellings in the estate and they had fallen into absolute disrepair to the extent that their windows and their doors were boarded up. What was happening was an absolute blight not just on the local community but also the general community in Victoria. We had a situation where a number of other people were utilising some of that space, and it also was not a healthy situation for people to be living in, nor indeed was it a proper way for a community to grow and develop.
They were not in a fit state to house anyone, and of course it certainly was not good enough for people who were trying to flee violent domestic situations or indeed homeless people. Fourteen tenants remained at the site, and they were relocated to much better housing prior to the demolition of the public housing units that was completed in February 2016. The new estate will have brand-new public housing units, but there will also be additional private units, and this is a great site for mixed development. It will provide housing that is tenure blind and destigmatised, integrating people from all walks of life in housing that is modern, safe and close to services and amenities. Not only do those opposite want to deny public housing tenants —
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Purcell) — It is now 5 o’clock.