More allegations against Foskey

By 10 June 2005 36

Following recent coverage on the Deb Foskey rental property fiasco, tabloid current affairs show Today Tonight has revealed new allegations against Ms Foskey.

Apparently Ms Foskey is a part owner of a substantial parcel of land in Victoria’s Gippsland region. It has also been alleged that Ms Foskey is receiving a rental income from this property. In addition to RiotACT, you can also vent your spleen on this issue at the Today Tonight website.

Given this new information I believe that Deb Foskey has two options:

1. Vacate her Yarralumla rental property; or

2. Resign from the ACT Legislative Assembly.

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36 Responses to
More allegations against Foskey
Canberra_unsung_hero 8:35 am
10 Jun 05

Yer really creating heaps of debate Debs !

areaman 10:12 am
10 Jun 05

According to the Canberra Times “substantial” is one third of $120,000 property they’ve owned since the 70s apon which she collects a one thrid share of $40 a week. Certainly not comparable to a house anywhere in Canberra, which is, I’m guessing why ACT housing didn’t think it was an issue when they means tested her to get her house.

Indi 10:43 am
10 Jun 05

The issue here may well be that Deb Foskey had mislead her employer (you) when disclosing her interests – according the Canberra Times, she only amended her declaration of an interest in a property in Victoria recently.

Covering tracks isn’t going to wash – vacating the property will still leave her in the position of discrediting herself by not being fully up front about her financial position (which politicans must do with their employer by disclosing interests).

Ralph 11:00 am
10 Jun 05

For these reasons, I believe it is prudent that she resign as an MLA.

GuruJ 11:15 am
10 Jun 05

I think the whole debate highlights the fact that actually buying public housing is not the way to go in this day and age. Deb may not be a drain on the ACT purse, but her presence in an ACT-govt-owned house ties up capital that could be used for other people.

If the ACT government didn’t buy the houses, but simply subsidized the rent of those who needed it, this whole issue would go away. Surely it wouldn’t be hard to find landlords who would be prepared to make properties available at a discount in exchange for a permanent, AAA tenant (ie. the ACT government).

In this scenario, Deb Foskey would clearly no longer qualify for assistance since she earns too much, but she also wouldn’t have to relocate from the house she has lived in for 15 years without chewing up the ACT Public Housing capital funds.

michael 11:32 am
10 Jun 05

Maybe this needs to be separated from the whole public housing debate.

Deb Foskey didn’t seem to see that her being in public housing was going to create political trouble amongst some sections of the community, nor did she have the sense to properly register her interests.

Some pretty glaring examples of complete obliviousness to her surroundings, and we let her make decisions about the territory?

areaman 11:35 am
10 Jun 05

Actually Indi she didn’t mislead anyone (according to the Canberra Times). What the story actually said is that she only recently ammended it to include the value of the property and the rent she was getting (which she’d only been getting since January, long after the statement would have been initially lodged). The actual share in the property would, I assume, have always been in the statement.

Chris 12:22 pm
10 Jun 05

Foskey’s hypocrisy astounds! Here is someone who is well and truly on the ACT gravy train and has the nerve to try and pass herself off as one of the masses! That’s what I hate about the Greens/Greenpeace etc. – they’re such ratbag HYPOCRITES !!!

Canberra_unsung_hero 12:30 pm
10 Jun 05

Geesh…. I see the “Foskey Debate” is STILL going on .

bulldog 1:04 pm
10 Jun 05

Is a load of sh*t any way you look at it. There are legitimate folks who are placed on ridiculous waiting lists for Public Housing currently residing in emergency accomodation with the junkies and alchololics. Give them Deb Foskeys place, and if Ms Foskeys need for government subsidised housing is legitimate, she should then turn up at the emergency accomodation centre. I don’t think so!

She should relinquish her subsidised accomodation! The rest of us have to work our asses to the bone in order to pay mortgage/rent and here is an politician (who just received a princley pay-rise if I’m not mistaken) taking advantage of the system AND the good folks of the ACT.

As that jackass Hinch would say; Shame Shame Shame. Does Deb Foskey have a site we can offer constructive criticism on?

And on the Property in Vic. Beautiful country in that are, and did I hear that it is 300 acres? Are you trying to tell me that there is someone on a 300 acre propert in the high country who is paying $120 per week rent? Now THAT sounds like subsidised rent!

Jazz 1:48 pm
10 Jun 05

Bulldog – at what point did we establish that Ms Foskey is getting her rent subsidised but mr & mrs Taxpayer??

areaman 1:49 pm
10 Jun 05

1) it’s not subsidised accomodation (as she’s paying market rent)

2) I could be wrong (and probably am this is a third hand account of it) but I think you’ll find they are paying $40 a week in total. There are some complicated details about how the tenants used to live next door and their house burnt down in the bushfires, so now they are paying nominal rent to help fix up the exisitng place that was on the Foskey land.

llib 2:05 pm
10 Jun 05

this is a complete storm in a teacup. ralph you are out of your mind.

one of the main points of public housing is the security of tenure. before becoming an MLA, deb foskey was entitled to public housing, and she is entitled to stay there until whenever she wants to leave. the idea is that those who were entitled to public housing but are now earning enough to pay market rates is to ensure that if their situation changes for the worse they don’t have to start from scratch. and she is subsidising those in public housing who aren’t doing so well and so aren’t paying market rates.


Ralph 2:13 pm
10 Jun 05

I beg to differ.

bulldog 2:32 pm
10 Jun 05

Who decress ‘market rent’? I would be curious to know what she is paying to live in this property, bear in mind it is Yarralumla. I have friends who are paying ‘market rent’ and it seems that the powers that be have checked the market value of the property three or four years ago.

In any case, as a renter she does not have to pay rates and ULV; the Government does. Therefore her accomodation is subsidised in my eyes (and I think in the eyes of many).

Jazz and areaman, do you think it’s right that after an MLA should be taking advantage of ACT housing when she can clearly afford to move on? If she paying ‘market rent’ as you put it; and it was a true reflection of the market, why is she still in a govy when she could move out to weston, belconnen into far more luxiurious housing?

It’s a crock. These people should be leading by example.

Ralph 2:36 pm
10 Jun 05


Apparently she is paying $270 per week for her Yarralumla property. I have a friend renting a very similar property in Yarralumla and is paying well over $300 per week.

seepi 3:02 pm
10 Jun 05

Deb owning one third of a 120,000 property in Gippland (probably in teh middle of nowhere) doesn’t offend me nearly as much as the fact of her high salary. He could save for just one year and get another one third share in a property on her wage. OR she could pay a substantial deposit and get a mortgage like everyone else has to. (excpet for those lucky enought to get a govvie house decade ago, and unethical enough to hang onto it.)

Jazz 3:05 pm
10 Jun 05


I think the fact that she is an MLA has nothing to do with it. There are appox 2000 households in public housing paying market rent. Some of whom earn substantial amounts and could comfortably afford to rent privately.

The fact that she wants to stay in Govt housing probably has nothing to do with who the landlord is. Have you considered that she may have been living there for some time and considers it her ‘home’???

The market rents are set by independant market valuation.

areaman 3:20 pm
10 Jun 05

Housing ACT determines “market rent” and it’s assessed up to once a year. She’s never expressed any issue with paying the market rent, no matter what it’s set at, but that’s ACT housings call, not hers.

My understanding is that people paying market rent have to pay exactly the same bills as people in private rentals, so they’re not subsidised any more than people in the private system are.

She’s not “taking advantage” of ACT housing, it’s exactly the same as if she was in the private system, except that the government is her landlord. Maybe she doesn’t want to move on because she likes where she is, may her kids go to area schools, maybe she want to live in her electorate. There are a heap of reason why she wouldn’t move as soon as she was financially able to.

The greater point is should someone be forced out of public housing just because they can afford to be in the private system. I don’t see why they should, they’re not taking places from anyone else andnot leaching of the government. What’s wrong with the profits going back to government rather than a landlord.

seepi 3:31 pm
10 Jun 05

But unless ther is an unlimited supply of public housing then she IS taking a place away from someone else. Such as the 4000 people who are apparently on the waiting list. Some of whom are genuinely desperate and destitute. IN a perfect world people would not have to leave their neighbourhoods, but in teh real world everybody has to, unless they pay for their own house.

areaman 3:53 pm
10 Jun 05

Moveing people paying market rent out seems to work in the short term but solves no problems in the longer term. If you do force them out then ACT Housing has less money ($11,000,000 less) and so has to sell some of it’s existing property and you end up with the same probelem you have now, just with less public housing in total.

johnboy 7:25 pm
10 Jun 05

Housing shouldn’t be being run as a business when it’s a service.

But security of tenure is something we just can’t afford, nor should we.

Mortgage holders have security of tenure only as long as they maintain a career which lets them make the payments.

Lose you job? Have a health emergency?

No security of tenure.

Renters have even less rights.

But win the lottery and come up top of the housing list and your house is guaranteed for life? Sure you pay more if you earn a lot of (declared) income. But want to drop out? go right ahead and you’re back to not paying anything for the roof over your head.

Like I said on an earlier post, until the government can provide similar security to everyone earning less than $80,000, who doesn’t have a guaranteed four year term in the job, then it is both unjust and unequitable.

Until then it’s a $400,000 piece of Government capital tied up servicing the needs of the well to do while people in real need sleep in their cars.

How can anyone justify that?

Secutiry of tenure has worked historically because the housing hasn’t been very nice. But a hell of a lot of the housing stock is either very nice, or in very nice locations. I actually think that’s great. But not compatible in the long term with security of tenure.

johnboy 7:26 pm
10 Jun 05

BTW I think it’ll be great if Ms Foskey and the Government maintain the status quo until the next election.

Great for every other party hoping to run that is.

Vic Bitterman 8:03 pm
10 Jun 05

Foskey needs to resign, quick smart, to save any further embarrasment. Both to herself, the pathetic party she ‘represents’ and to the entire Canberra community who props up social housing via taxes.

Ralph 8:10 pm
10 Jun 05

Here here.

redneck_ninja 11:41 am
11 Jun 05

Has anyone actually seen the house? I know everyone’s caught up in the principal of the matter, but even though its in Yarralumla, its a dodgy 60′s weatherboard house. It’s a renovators dream, and as soon as it’s sold, it will become another giant concrete lego construction. Big deal. Much, much worse things have happened in politics, even in Canberra. She’s going to be moving out, she doesn’t need to bloody resign, so stop bitching about something that really is pointless.
Settle Gretel.

Canberra_unsung_hero 12:38 pm
11 Jun 05

Yeah, I saw it on TV….sure didn’t look like much.

johnboy 1:28 pm
11 Jun 05

well she hasn’t said she’s going to move out.

but as she’s been true to the principals she was elected on i don’t see resignation as being the way forward.

Maelinar 11:57 am
14 Jun 05

areaman, stand in the way of the pitchfork…

The one with ‘Tell that to Mr. Pitchfork’ written on it.

You’re restating the same tired excuses that were covered in the last rant about this topic.

Again, you should look into Communism, I think you will find a home there.

angryaltruist 2:31 pm
14 Jun 05

If Deb does move out, that could create a political space open to abolish secure tenure, a concept that seems to antagonise many people.
I have a friend, single parent, contract worker, who lives in community housing. On several occaisions, there have been issues that have forced her to cease work – ie sick child, or she becomes ill. When this happens, she doesn’t have to move into a crisis shelter with her children, but can stay in her community house.
Why should people be forced back onto crisis lists because they have to move to private rent? This is such specious reasoning.
The Deb debate is a huge red herring.
Many people who work and possess secure tenure do so because they are disabled, have complex needs, or are single parents.
Deb’s tangle with the media has made an easy target out of a lot of people who cannot defend themselves should secure tenure end.
She is in a lose-lose situation, and I pity her position: if she stays, then she’s bloodsucking single parent scum. If she goes, then she lets down a lot of families who require that she defend secure tenure adequately.

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