Mr CLARE (Blaxland) (13:30): On A Current Affair this week it was revealed that there are hundreds of Aussies who’ve applied for the HomeBuilder grant and, because of a confusing online application form, have now missed out. They went online and they thought they’d applied for the grant. They trusted this government, and they signed up to contract for homes and mortgages based on the trust. Then, when they went back on the website last month to put extra documents in, they found the application was gone. It had disappeared like it never existed. Now there are hundreds and hundreds of people in financial strife.
I’ve got their emails here. They say they can’t stop crying. They say they can’t sleep at night. They say their health has been affected. They use words like ‘desperate’ and ‘freaking out’. Many of them are concerned, frankly scared, that they’re going to lose the deposit they’ve paid—tens of thousands of dollars—because without the grant they now don’t have enough money to buy the house. This is just one sentence from one email from Tara and Wayne from Bendigo: ‘It was like someone had just burnt $25,000 right in front of me and said we can no longer have it, and your dream will go up in smoke with it.’ And what is the government’s response? They blamed the state governments. Typical! Like everything else, they say it’s not their responsibility. Well, my message to everybody who has emailed me is that it’s the Australian Labor Party that is in here fighting for you, and we will keep fighting for you until this government fixes this mess.