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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 733..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

To ensure ongoing access to affordable housing, the government will require that 15 per cent of the blocks be priced in the $60,000 to $120,000 price range. We hope to achieve that by introducing a range of block sizes, rather than by cross-subsidising the affordable blocks through inclusionary zoning. It is important that the government is able to more accurately monitor the supply of available land at each point in the pipeline so that it can more promptly respond to changes in demand. Accordingly, more robust mechanisms are being developed to calculate and monitor the developers and builders pipelines and distinguish between greenfields and redevelopment sites. We will also adopt a one-year builders and a three-year developers pipeline and maintain an inventory on the shelf at each stage to improve responsiveness. The government will also add an inventory to the pipeline of approved estate development plans accounting for eight to 12 months of current demand.

Those are in a more formal sense the particular initiatives that the government will pursue to ensure that supply does meet demand. It has been an issue over the years, at times very difficult for the government and its agencies to monitor and, essentially, to get right as a result of decisions outside of our ken which are made from time to time and which most particularly and most recently occurred in the last federal budget, where the commonwealth announced a very significant increase in the size of its public service, an increase which really did require our agencies, both the LDA and ACTPLA, to race to catch the enormous spike in demand.

That was prompted by a decision by the commonwealth to increase its Canberra-based work force by-at this stage we are not entirely sure-potentially somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 public servants, with very significant implications, of course, for our capacity quickly to respond to the extra demand that was generated by that decision, one which we did not anticipate, which did take us by surprise, as welcome as it was. We have been racing to catch the level of demand that has been generated most particularly as a result of that and, indeed, as a result of the enormous strength of the ACT economy, a strength of which, of course, this government is very pleased to have been a part.

To that extent, the growth and the development are very much a sign of the success of this government and of the ACT economy growing as strongly and with the vigour that it is. We are to some extent a victim of our success. This government has, essentially, been too successful. We have driven the economy so hard and we have achieved so much that, essentially, agencies, the construction industry and development generally have not been able to keep pace with the government. I do not intend to slow down, however. The economic successes of the last five years are something of which we are enormously proud and, of course, we are not going to slow down. We have no intention of slowing down just because others within the territory have had trouble keeping up with us. (Time expired.)

Pace egg farm

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Chief Minister. It concerns the Pace egg farm in west Belconnen. I understand that the new cage system that Pace Farms is required to install by 1 January 2008 will be very costly and that Pace may be considering closing down its operation here in Canberra, especially given the proximity to the new


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