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Stanhope ponders return to politics, sending candidates into a spin

By Charlotte Harper - 11 August 2016 5

Jon Stanhope

Former ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope gave a room full of would-be ACT politicians a big scare this afternoon, confessing he occasionally considers a return to politics.

Mr Stanhope was discussing public disillusionment with the major political parties at a forum he had organised with the University of Canberra at the Theo Notaros Multicultural Centre.

“I work every day now with people on the fringe of this society,” Mr Stanhope said in closing the event, referring to his advisory role with the Winnunga Nimmityjah indigenous health service in Narrabundah.

“[I have an ]understanding now around poverty and disadvantage in this community that I regret deeply I didn’t have when I was Chief Minister, because I would’ve responded differently to some issues.

“I sometimes think I might come back.”

The audience of around 60 politically engaged Canberrans, including several candidates running in the October ACT Legislative Assembly election, variously gasped, cheered and laughed at this apparent revelation, though Mr Stanhope was swift to dismiss it afterwards as an off the cuff joke rather than a true reflection of any intention to make a return to public life.

Kim Fischer, a Labor candidate in Mr Stanhope’s former electorate of Ginninderra, confirmed later that Mr Stanhope had reassured he had no intention to run in the seat or at all, come October.

Mr Stanhope said community interest in small parties and independents ahead of the ACT election was a reflection of the fact that many Australians had lost faith and trust in politicians, particularly those representing the two major parties.

“There are a growing number of people who feel disenfranchised,” he said.

He cited housing affordability as a key issue affecting Canberrans.

“We have a serious crisis,” Mr Stanhope said.

“We’ve trusted [the two major parties] to ensure the great Australian dream is available to all of us.

“I don’t know if any of you have children or grandchildren trying to buy a house today, but there’s a very significant proportion of young Canberrans who will never own a detached house.”

The former longtime Labor MLA said that if governments were deliberately engineering this state of affairs, then they should be up front about it, acknowledging that Canberrans living in households earning less than $100,000 a year would never own a detached house.

“I do not see any particular passion within the government or the opposition around housing and housing affordability,” Mr Stanhope said.

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5 Responses to
Stanhope ponders return to politics, sending candidates into a spin
1
MERC600 10:52 am
12 Aug 16
#

Perhaps if Jon were back we could find out how much cash has been sunk into his tree plantation. It’s very difficult to find out at the moment.

2
A_Cog 11:56 am
12 Aug 16
#

What a joke.
NOW he regrets not getting it right, but at the time, he was happy to:
– build a jail that’s a joke, ignoring the advice to build it bigger and better, and has now worsened rehabilitation and recidivism outcomes, and makes Canberra less safe every day
– blow massive sums of cash on wasted “public artworks” and skywhale and the arboretum, instead of poverty programs
– ignore the impending land “supply” issue that’s been exploited by ALP mates to worsen the entirely predictable ‘housing affordability’ issue
– ignore the structural issues with the ACT ALP that empower a very small group to control not just the party but the government bureaucracy, as party leaders step back and forth into offices and directorates in senior roles

3
WilliamBourke 5:52 pm
12 Aug 16
#

If Mr Stanhope wants a party passionate about housing affordability, he need look no further than Sustainable Australia (ACT):
http://www.votesustainable.org.au/act

4
Zed 12:26 pm
16 Aug 16
#

This would be a great opportunity for some accountability. There’s no shortage of issues and decisions that would be great to hear about. Lets start with that hidden report that was used to justify 19 school closures.

Leopards don’t change their spots but people learn lessons when they’ve been done over. Come on Jon, bring it on and lets see just what people really think of you.

5
rommeldog56 6:07 pm
16 Aug 16
#

Zed said :

This would be a great opportunity for some accountability. There’s no shortage of issues and decisions that would be great to hear about. Lets start with that hidden report that was used to justify 19 school closures.

Add to that :

1) The consultants report into what lies beneath Northbourne Ave for Tram construction.
2) The costings that ACT Labor claim prove that the abolition of stamp duties and avg.10% pa increase in Annual Rates forever, is “revenue neutral”.
3) The MOU or written agreement between the ACT Labor/Greens Govt and Unions ACT (that would be the one that the Greens Minister, Rattenburry, knew nothing about !) – I have asked for a link to that on here previously, to no avail, so presumably now that its existence has been made public, the content will not be. It operated in the time of the OP as Chief Minister.
4) The costings to justify / explain Barr’s claim that if the Tram contract is cancelled by the Libs, that it will cost m$200+ (I think that was the figure mentioned ?), in damages.
5) Release the Tram contract(s) for all to see.

If the OP doesn’t have access to these (likely, as now not a serving Labor LA member now) or knowledge of them, then ask the ACT Labor/Greens Govt to release them on behalf of ACT Ratepayers – please.

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