Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1169..
MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my advice is that Mr Wood is wrong, and wrong again. The advice that I was given only very recently is that in the two financial years since July 1999 there is expected to be a net loss of 275 units. But let us put this into perspective. When Mr Wood was in government there were some 71/2 thousand people on the waiting list for public housing. We now have fewer than 3,000 applicants waiting for public housing. When it suits them, Mr Speaker, they are very keen to talk about waiting lists. When they talk about hospitals, all they can concentrate on is waiting lists. Mind you, they ought to be embarrassed about that as well because not only are housing waiting lists coming down-
Mr Stanhope interjecting-
MR MOORE: Mr Stanhope interjects, "What about on the hospital waiting lists?" I can tell the difference. When Labor was in government the astronomical increase in people on hospital waiting lists continued from some thousand to 4,000. Under this government they have remained steady and come down. That is the difference.
Mr Speaker, we are talking about a net loss of 275 units at a time when the waiting lists are at an all time low. Next financial, of course, Burnie Court will be demolished and replaced with a mix of public and private housing on the existing site with additional public housing in the surrounding areas. Most of the property units disposed of, such as those at Burnie Court, McPherson Court, Lachlan Court and Mawson Gardens, were either substandard-and I am sure Mr Wood would agree with me that we ought not be providing substandard public housing; it is not our intention to do so-or they no longer met with community or tenant expectations. They were either bedsitters or not in a condition that could justify upgrading. Last financial year there were another 49 cases where properties were sold to their tenants, including the former tenants.
Of course, Mr Wood would also be aware of the transfer of houses to Community Housing Canberra. He would be aware that 200 units have been transferred there. We will be looking at another nine units very shortly. Of course, there is a proposed plan to transfer, all up, 1,000 units into the community housing sector.
Mr Speaker, the reality is that compared to any other jurisdiction in Australia, we have a huge amount of public housing-in fact, about double the Australian average. So when we are looking at public housing we want to make sure we get the best quality, we want to ensure that we work as best we can on our waiting list, and we want to make sure that we are improving the quality of our housing stock, and that is what we are doing.
MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary. I could hark back to the debate on Tuesday about answering questions. The minister carefully avoided challenging my figures so my point is made. My supplementary, having given that preamble-
MR SPEAKER: Which is not allowed.
MR WOOD: Well, his answer should not be allowed either.
MR SPEAKER: Go on.