House debates

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Statements by Members

Annandale North Public School; Housing Affordability

9:36 am

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Human Services, Housing, Youth and Women) Share this | | Hansard source

I wish to speak today about Annandale North Public School, a wonderful school in my area that has been celebrating over the weekend and early this week the centenary of the school. The school was established in 1907. At the weekend they had a wonderful fair and invited students from the past to revisit Annandale. They had visitors from all over Sydney and all over New South Wales, coming from far afield to return to their school. They have done a magnificent job of getting photos of past classes and past students. Their beautiful library was covered in photographs of students from every era of the school, old school reports, documents, and advice to teachers about what they were allowed to do and what they were not allowed to do. It was a fantastic historical trip. It also included a book, A Century of Reflection, by Mary Hare. There was a cocktail party in the evening. On Monday they had student performances about every decade of the school’s existence. I am so sorry to have been in Canberra and missed that, because I know that the Annandale North Public School students would have done a marvellous job in those performances. On Tuesday, yesterday, they were wearing clothes of different periods of the school.

The school has an enormous amount of parent involvement. They have done a fantastic job of expanding the playground into the neighbouring street after many years of campaigning. They have also started a campaign for a hall for Annandale North Public School and, with the support of the parents, the local community, the teaching community of the school, their local government representative, the Mayor of Leichhardt, Alice Murphy, their state representative, Verity Firth, and, of course, me, I am sure that they will eventually be successful in their campaign.

Just before I finish, I want to comment on the fact that we are told in a marvellous article by Patricia Karvelas in the Australian today that 50 government MPs in a marathon policy debate yesterday said that housing affordability is an issue that this government should be tackling. I am pleased that MPs are listening. I hope that eventually the Prime Minister and the Treasurer will stop ignoring this. We know that both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer have said that housing affordability is not a big issue. In fact, the Prime Minister says it is great—he has never heard people complain about the value of their homes going up. That is true. They are pretty worried about their kids and their grandkids ever being able to afford a home. We know the ordinary family cannot afford the ordinary family home anymore, and that is a shocking state. (Time expired)