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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 4116..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

At the same time of course, the government's release of 100 blocks a year for the next five years will target those groups of home owners that need just that little bit of assistance to get into the housing market. Again, this has flow-on effects of course-and it needs to be acknowledged-to the level of home ownership. The number of people in their own home has a real impact also on the rental market and the access to safe and affordable accommodation for those people who do not yet have the financial capacity to invest in their own home.

I welcome the motion from Mr Hargreaves. It is an important motion and a very good opportunity not only to highlight the significance of the issue but also to emphasise the steps the government has taken to address this and which it will continue to take into the future.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (11.09): Mrs Dunne made some uncommonly strange remarks-an indication that she does not pay much attention to what is said around the place-arguing that there had not been much flow through from the task force on affordability. There has been a great deal of activity. Mr Corbell has just mentioned some of it. I will not go into it in full measure today because I am tabling a statement tomorrow detailing all the activity in that area, and it really is quite substantial. I think we all recognise that a safe roof over a person's head is one of the real core foundations for a secure life.

The need to attend to housing in this territory is very important indeed-in fact, as you know, I have travelled a little recently, and not just in the ACT or in Australia-but the problem of housing affordability is an issue in many parts of the world. It seems that market forces and other forces are operating in the same way in quite a number of places. But, as to the detail of what we have done: I would encourage Mrs Dunne, who is not here at the moment, to sit and listen very carefully to what I will have to say tomorrow.

MR HARGREAVES (11.10), in reply: To close the debate: I thank members for their contribution. I have got only a minor comment really. Mrs Dunne concentrated her mind on land releases; she did not address pre-loved homes or apartment opportunities in town centres for example. You have to understand, when you are talking about affordability of homes and houses, that the pattern is that people buy established homes. They do not make a capital gain on it when they buy and move into a new home. I suggest that everybody here who owns or is buying a home, do just that; very few people go out to a greenfield site and buy their very first home-very few. Mrs Dunne, therefore, perpetuates the furphy that, because the new home and land packages are beyond the first home buyer, all is lost; we are in dire straits. That is not so.

The concession scheme assists people to get into established homes and that is the start that they need, and that is where the accent ought to be. This government's policy on concessions and assistance to people to get a start in the housing market is a modern, responsible and progressive approach to this problem and sets the high-jump bar very high.

Motion agreed to.


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