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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 783..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

stated, as I have said here today, that public housing is for those most in need. This bill reflects that priority. In this time of heightened community concern about housing affordability, it is clearly not appropriate for, nor the role of, public housing properties to be used as office accommodation.

Overall, it is unfortunate the ACT Council of Social Service have chosen to misrepresent aspects of the bill and that they took over four months to raise these issues. They did not seek to discuss them with me or my department, nor did they seek clarification on any of the issues about which they appear confused. If they wish to be taken seriously in the policy development process, they need to reciprocate the expectations they have of government, engage much earlier and provide accurate feedback based on evidence.

In response to Dr Foskey, she said, firstly, that she lost her house and that it sold for $640,000 to somebody who moved in. There was nothing about what we did with the $600,000. The answer was that the money was recycled through the housing program, because the commonwealth-state housing agreement demands it. Every sale that we do of a property has to be recycled into property. Full stop.

Mrs Burke: Read the act.

MR HARGREAVES: Read the act. That is a good one, thank you, Mrs Burke-and stop misrepresenting us.

In conclusion, I am confident that this bill will provide us with a solid foundation from which to operate a modern social housing system for the next 20 years. It provides the fundamental structure required for a social housing system while using housing assistance programs to provide the flexibility needed to respond to an ever-changing social housing market. Importantly, this bill also supports the government's affordable housing reforms announced by the Chief Minister last month. I commend the bill to the Assembly. (Time expired.)

Question put:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Assembly voted-

Ayes 16

Noes 1

Mr Barr

Ms MacDonald

Dr Foskey

Mr Berry

Mr Mulcahy

Mrs Burke

Ms Porter

Mr Corbell

Mr Pratt

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Mr Smyth

Mr Gentleman

Mr Stanhope

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Stefaniak

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

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