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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3790..


MR MOORE (continuing):

As I indicated when tabling the government's initial response to the select committee report, public housing assistance is currently provided in an environment of constraints and pressures that all states and territories are facing. There is an increasing need to better target our limited resources to those people in the community who are in the greatest need. That is fundamentally what these housing assistance reforms are all about.

The government will not resile from our obligations to use resources sustainably and to meet the needs of the disadvantaged in our community. Indeed, the government has proceeded with action to implement the housing assistance reforms with effect from 1 January 2001, with a disallowable instrument amending the public rental housing assistance program in relation to the reforms having recently been tabled in the Assembly for the consideration of members.

Having said this, when advised of the potential of financial hardship for some families arising out of reforms in relation to increases in rent paid by residents, I immediately moved to ensure that families with residents under 18 would not be adversely affected. In addition, the government is mindful of the need to continue to review and monitor the changes.

In reviewing its response to the recommendations in question, the government has decided to refer to the Housing Advisory Committee, in addition to our other reforms, two additional matters. These are the operation and performance of the emergency relief fund that is to be established and administered by a community organisation, and the impact on tenants of ceasing rent rebates when a tenant has been absent from the property for more than three months.

Mr Speaker, I believe that the government has now responded appropriately to this Assembly's resolution of 7 December 2000 and has adopted a reasonable position in relation to each of the issues. We will monitor and review these reforms, and we will provide opportunities for the community to provide feedback on these changes.

I trust our Assembly members will work with the government to ensure that housing assistance is targeted, sustainable and flexible enough to meet the changing needs of our community.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Papers

Mr Moore presented the following papers:

The Canberra Hospital and Calvary Hospital-Patient Activity Data-June 2001.

Health Regulation (Maternal Health Information) Act 1998-June 2001 Quarterly Report.

Subordinate legislation (including explanatory statements, unless otherwise stated) and commencement provisions

Subordinate Laws Act, pursuant to section 6-


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