Penny Hulse chokes back tears in Unitary Plan meeting

  • 12/08/2016
Penny Hulse
Penny Hulse

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse choked back tears at the end of an eight-hour meeting on Thursday, explaining why she voted against a housing affordability provision in the Unitary Plan.

Councillors voted 13-7 to drop a requirement that large developments make at least 10 percent of new homes 'affordable', and set aside for buyers under certain income limits. Ms Hulse was one of them, despite originally backing the idea.

After calling it a "sop", she was interrupted by another councillor, asking "what was the sop?"

"I never interrupt anyone, it's something I don't do," replied Ms Hulse, to a round of guffaws and mocking grunts.

"Go Penny, you're doing good," another councillor told her.

After pausing to compose herself, Ms Hulse continued.

"I've spent the last three years working on this issue. To have to vote on something that I fundamentally believe in with every fibre of my being, that can be construed as not supporting housing affordability in this city is the hardest thing I will need to do.

"On the other hand, I do not believe in populist politics. I do not believe in grandstanding, and I don't believe in making promises to people that we can't deliver on.

"I believe in promising things that we can genuinely deliver, and if we get this plan right - and I'm hoping everyone that's spoken passionately on this is actually going to vote for every last bit of the upzoning and the mapping and do it with the passion that I've seen them deliver on this, then we would have nailed this plan."