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Deb Foskey in Public Housing Debate Gets More Exposure

che 7 June 2005 68

Crikey has this piece about the continuing debate on ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey remaining in Public Housing.

Green Grinch gets the tabloid TV treatment
Hugo Kelly writes:

Canberra Greens MP Deb Foskey’s determination to bludge on ACT taxpayers and keep her public subsidised house has reached national tabloid TV, with Today Tonight following up Crikey’s story last night.
To her credit, Foskey did her best to explain why an MP on $100,000 should continue to live on public housing while on the other side of town, a single mum and her crippled son must live out of a car boot.
There are 4,000 people on the ACT public housing waiting list, but this doesn’t move Foskey, who’s intent on clinging to her taxpayer-subsidised home in comfy Yarralumla “because I support public housing.”
And it seems the ACT government’s Chifleyite desire to end the private rental market sits well with the selfish Green. Housing ACT gives priority to emergency housing – but exists to provide accomodation to anyone who would like it, including greedy MPs. Check out the unfolding debate here (http://the-riotact.com/?p=372).

Meanwhile, Foskey has been on the radio speculating (http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200506/s1384597.htm) about how she’s going to spend her windfall pay increase: “Such a pay rise does enable me to support those organisations that I do like to support more generously and yes if this pay rise comes to me I’ll be certainly considering how I can spread it around a bit more equitably.”

Can we make a suggestion: get out of the public housing, take up a mortgage and let some more deserving citizen take your place. In the words of Naomi Robson (http://seven.com.au/todaytonight): “You can tell us what you think about a well-paid pollie occupying public housing on our website.”
Emails to boss@crikey.com.au.


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68 Responses to Deb Foskey in Public Housing Debate Gets More Exposure
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Maelinar 1:40 pm 21 Jun 05

My comments on right and left were more appropriately indicative of my own personal position and that of areaman..

Nice points though lefties, tell it to the homeless people who don’t have a home because some wanker is holding up a roof in Yarralumla, even though they have the resources to put one over their heads.

That’s always been my argument line, and since all you whingey people have decided I’m wrong for stating it, you can tell it to the homeless. If you can’t find one, try shopping at Kippax Fair, there’s a regular guy there at the door begging.

Tell him that you support Deb Foskey staying in a house, Tell him that you think that security of tenure is more important than a roof over his head.

I bet you put on your warm non-fur non-animal rights offended designer-but-severely-increased-price-because-it-‘costs’-so-much-more-to-make-it-that-way coat to get there too. Perhaps you could leave it for him, he doesn’t have one.

He also thanks you when you give him money.

Get fucked for stamping your leftie bullshit on my conversation. Get into the real world.

johnboy 8:29 pm 20 Jun 05

We used to have a regular who worked in the industry but she a) doesn’t comment here that often any more and b) doesn’t work in that industry anymore.

My own interest is as a tenant.

why? 8:22 pm 20 Jun 05

So who’s the real estate agent behind this story missing out on more tenants?

johnboy 7:14 pm 18 Jun 05

Well it’s a big story for all the renters who would benefit from a larger, and thus more liquid, private rental market.

A bureacratically derived “market rent” with a bonus of secure tenure is quite the orwellian piece of doublespeak.

There might be an attempt to put something approximating a “market” value onto the rent.

But it’s still at least $400,000 in government capital tied up in giving Ms. Foskey a guaranteed roof. This is in turn reducing the liquidity of the private rental market AND maintaining the inflated market to buy a house.

All in all a poor use of resources.

But if you insist on viewing the world though the outdated prism of “left” and “right” then I imagine a great many things will continue to confuse you.

why? 6:48 pm 18 Jun 05

A interesting issue has been raised and in-between the polical point scoring some well thought out points seem to be have been made
Although ima disappointed in crickes handling of this story.
Nobody losses or wins here its really a stalemate. a non story, A interesting issue has been raised and in-between the polical point scoring some well thought out points seem to be have been made
Although ima disappointed in crikeys handling of this story.

funny funny man maelinar but you have one problem You think that everyone thinks like you or should
Comment by Maelinar — June 8, 2005 @ 4:18 pm
for your slander my votes
Upper House- Greens
Lower House- Labour
One thing that confusses me about this issue is that the right wing are against their own government profiting and the left are for it?
ie a market rate is worth more then what the house actualy costs to keep?
Really to me it seem like a case where both sides should be happy.

angryaltruist 11:58 am 14 Jun 05

If people want to contribute to the number of homeless children in Australia, abolish secure tenure. In the latest census 52,700 children connected to families were rendered homeless. Secure tenure means that if a single parent loses their job, due to illness or a run in with the future Fair Pay tribunal, then their rent reduces accordingly.

If the parent cannot pay the market rent in private housing, clearly the private landlord cannot decrease rent to accommodate the loss of income.

There is new kind of homelessness emerging in Australia – families who can’t pay market rent.

Sure, give Foskey the boot. Then you can boot every single sole parent out of ACT Housing who is trying to do the morally responsible thing by working.

It’s a fantastic way to increase the waiting list for public housing. Then we can start working on getting those disabled bludgers out of public housing; they can make way for the needy too.

angryaltruist 11:57 am 14 Jun 05

If people want to contribute to the number of homeless children in Australia, abolish secure tenure. In the latest census 52,700 children connected to families were rendered homeless. Secure tenure means that if a single parent loses their job, due to illness or a run in with the future Fair Pay tribunal, then their rent reduces accordingly.

If the parent cannot pay the market rent in private housing, clearly the private landlord cannot decrease rent to accommodate the loss of income.

There is new kind of homelessness emerging in Australia – families who can’t pay market rent.

Sure, give Foskey the boot. Then you can boot every single sole parent out of ACT Housing who is trying to do the morally responsible thing by working.

It’s a fantastic way to increase the waiting list for public housing. Then we can start working on getting those disabled bludgers out of public housing; they can make way needy too.

johnboy 9:44 pm 09 Jun 05

JB – if you want your rent to be lower you’ve got to accept one of two things. 1. have a co-tenant or 2. live somewhere cheaper.

That I am painfully aware of.

For the privileged MLA however she has the freedom (courtesy of the taxpayer) to change her lifestyle without changing her residence.

Ari 9:20 pm 09 Jun 05

Turns out Foskey owns a share in a rural Victorian property which she herself is renting out.

johnboy 8:44 pm 09 Jun 05

Personally I find anyone defining the world in terms of left v. right is a dangerous idiot.

It’s a crap use of limited resources any which way you cut it.

And areaman if you think anything of value being given away for free can ever be provided in sufficient numbers then you’re a bigger idiot than I thought.

Tempestas 7:48 pm 09 Jun 05

What rubbish Maelinar speaks. Morality is a left/right issue, taxpayers own all government property, only right wingers toil. What absolute crap. The point here is that opinionated idiots like you are always right, your views are the only valid ones and we only exist in communities because you and those like you are willing to tolerate the human scum of the rest of us being able to breath similar air. For all your rules, wars and markets you fail to realise that there are no individuals there are only society, if the Thatcher line were true why don’t all the right wingers just fuck off and live by themselves in their own little nation states and pay the cost of everything as a user pays example of rightouessness.

That a MLA remains in a ACT Housing Property paying market rent dealing with such a bureacracy and putting up with publicly provided maintenance, is her decision, ethically ok or otherwise. It is within the rules. Security of tenure may strike you as a bad idea but there are benefits to the community as a whole.

I am sure you and your kind are very happy to play hard with the rules when it comes to tax, development and employing people so get off your horse and go away.

Canberra_unsung_hero 5:34 pm 09 Jun 05

Word around town is that “our Debs” will be appearing on “Today Tonight” at 6.30pm.

areaman 5:29 pm 09 Jun 05

Actually it’s not the rules that I care about (rules can always be changed if they are stupid, though I agree with you about retroactivity), I just don’t think that anyone should be kicked out of their house based soley on how much they earn. I believe this for a couple of reasons, firstly because if you do then people are less likely to want to cross that threshold (what ever it is), so your talking about a disincentive to work. And secondly I see no reason to force people out of their homes when they are paying market rent and so therefore neither costing the government money, nor taking a place from someone needy.

You’ve again talked about how she should be buying a house, but like I said earlier maybe she can’t get a mortgage (old age, lack of job security), or can’t borrow enough money to get a place in her electorate. I’ve always said I thought it was politically stupid for her to stay in public housing, but I’m willing to (and have) fight for the concept of tenure. This whole issue would be a non issue if there was enough public housing to go around, but as she’s not making the problems worse, and is in fact making it better I don’t really see the issue (well I do, but it’s all one of appearances).

P.S. I could be mistaken but I don’t think I had talked about the payrises at all.

Jazz 4:22 pm 09 Jun 05

Maelinar – I’ll take a look over the weekend & see if it can be changed. As long as it isn’t too disruptive to the rest of the page layout I don’t see why we couldn’t do that.

Jazz (RA)

Maelinar 1:59 pm 09 Jun 05

JB: have you ever considered increasing the size of the ‘Your Comment’ box ?

*grins*

Maelinar 1:52 pm 09 Jun 05

areaman, you missed my point.

However that’s no problem, you are a left winger and I am right (hope that’s not news to you), that’s one of the things that makes this country the unique places that I have been proud to defend in the past.

You just have far too much tissue paper stuffed into your ears to allow reason to penetrate into your argument.

I will state another example, and I am providing it as an example of the laws and rules of this country that you are so curiously abiding by even though you are a lefty and that’s traditionally something that us righties have been pedantic about:

The policy of changing prison sentences on a prisoner who has committed a heinous crime in order to keep them in jail longer.

As a central-rightie, I am dissapointed that the rules have been changed after the fact, because I know that if I had accepted my 25 year jail sentence, and then had it changed to 30, 40, 50 or even 75 years, I would make it my sole mission in life to escape such a ridiculous and inappropriate abuse of position of power.

This is regardless of the crime I had committed, at the time of sentencing if the punishment was deemed appropriate, I would accept that punishment, my statement is against the retrospective alteration of the playing field.

Now that’s an example of where if the situation changed I would buck and fight and kick and scream, reach for burning torches, pitchforks etc…

Your next argument is going to be that only reinforces your statement that she hasn’t done anything against the rules, and my argument strengthens your story that we shouldn’t kick her out because her situation has changed isn’t it ?

I was right wasn’t I ?

Well that’s where we differ, because it’s her that’s changed in situation, not the house, not the rules, not the laws.

If I committed additional crimes in prison I would accept the consequences of my actions as well.

Now let’s swing this back into the argument here:

I’m not disputing the fact that her situation was dire when she obtained public housing, nor do I dispute the fact that up to a certain limit you should be able to continue to stay in said house, regardless of ‘market rent’ or not. Frankly I’d love to market rent a house in Yarra-Yum-Cha for that amount of money a week, but I’m not arguing that.

I’m saying that upon taking up her position as a public figure, and obtaining a substantial payrise (I hope we’re not going to continue your diatribe about the lower scale payrises as previously discussed), the solution for me personally would have been obvious – start buying a house.

Rules, Laws, Market Rent still unchanged, that would have been my course of action because it is the most appropriate, and sensible thing to do.

And yes, I do believe that public housing is a privelege, all I need to do to justify that is ask anybody who doesn’t have public housing. If you want to have public housing for all and sundry as you seem to be continuing to advocate, then perhaps you should look into communism or socialism.

So here we are caught between the rules and commonsense, you on your left side, me on my right.

The fundamental change here is somebody has moved within social standing from nobody to public figure, with commesurate salary. Only a small amount of pitchforking in the right direction should indicate the way to go here.

I dont give a f^ck if you like the house, it’s not yours. It never was yours, It never will be yours. I dont give a f^ck if you elect to pay ‘market rent pennance’ in order to attempt to appease the rioters.

You know when something happens that’s quite extraordinary that just doesn’t quite fit within all the rules and laws that are in place ?

Well we’re there now.

When things get into that ‘grey’ area, it’s time to reapply our set of rules and balances to the situation. That’s where we are now.

No amount of heartfelt ‘but my workplace efficiency will be reduced by up to 25%’ is going to change the fact that upon reassessment, she’s on her ass with the rest of us getting told to swallow another shovelful of crap while our ever increasing social welfare economy is living off the fruit of us right wingers out there’s toil.

Somebody once said that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’.

I say ‘Write that on Mr Pitchfork’.

Means Test her.

Jazz 9:33 am 09 Jun 05

JB – if you want your rent to be lower you’ve got to accept one of two things. 1. have a co-tenant or 2. live somewhere cheaper.

The 25% rule for Housing ACT is on total household income (as a generalisation)

Other housing jurisdictions in Australia have a similar security of tenure arrangement so what we are doing here is nothing new. Deb Foskey is doing NOTHING wrong, nothing against any regulation, and nothing against the law. If you don’t like her situation; vote for someone who will change it in a few years time and then watch the carnage.

Canberra_unsung_hero 10:24 pm 08 Jun 05

Hmmmmmmm……interesting !

johnboy 9:46 pm 08 Jun 05

I don’t want to discuss the universal declaration of human rights here. I will delete any comments which attempt to do so. That’s exactly how little I want that debate here.

But before we apply it to Deb Foskey I feel we should apply it to the kids in Quamby who’s rights under that document have been found to be breached.

And also, for everyone earning under $70,000, give me, and the rest of us, my guaranteed house and Deb can keep hers.

If my rent was guaranteed to never be more than 25% of my income I’d live my life very differently and much more happily.

And all the readers would have a much better website.

RandomGit 7:44 pm 08 Jun 05

Areaman, you completely misread my post. No non-sequiter, no circular arguement.

ANy argument made for her can be turned right back on her, you don’t have to even refute. Because she is wrong on so many levels, which have been gone over ad nauseum on Riot ACT, it makes it all that much easier.

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