Canberra Liberals Media Release
Inaction by the Stanhope Government across at least 23
suburbs where there are ongoing serious problems with
some public housing tenants, is creating a potential powder
keg which could bring about another tragedy like that at
Fraser Court, according to the Shadow Minister for
Housing, Jacqui Burke.
Mrs Burke said a response from the Housing Minister to an
Opposition question has revealed that the complaints unit of ACT
Housing handled 1,680 complaints last financial year, of which more
than a third (592) related to disruptive behaviour. Nearly half of the
complaints (749) were from other public housing tenants.
Mrs Burke said that, as patron of Fraser Court Residents’ Association,
she was relieved that Ian Hirst had been found not guilty of the
murder of another tenant, David Bagnall, at Fraser Court in 2006.
“The Stanhope Government was told again and again about the
disruptive behaviour of Mr Bagnall, who had a well documented
history of violence and drug addiction. However, this Government
has consistently refused to deal with the very serious problems posed
by public housing tenants, who make life a misery for everyone
around them. In the case of Mr Bagnall, this had tragic results.
“Fraser Court had been described (by one tenant) as ‘like an asylum
for the insane into which unsuspecting public housing tenants are
dropped to cope with as best they can’.
“The Opposition has repeatedly pointed out that the Stanhope
Government is simply not interested in dealing with the hard issues
and the Minister remains in denial,” Mrs Burke said.
“I sincerely hope that both the Housing Minister, John Hargreaves and
Police Minister, Simon Corbell learn from the tragedy that unfolded at
Fraser Court, and ensure we do not see a repeat of this in our
community”, said Mrs Burke.