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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 172..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

But every economic indicator that has come out in the last four months—whether it has been across housing, retail, unemployment, our state final demand figures—has been good news for the people of the ACT. And these figures should be universally welcomed, because what is good for the economy here is good for the budget, and what is good for our budget is good for our community. Really, we should all be supporting and accepting this as good news.

Whilst I know Mr Smyth likes for me to take personal responsibility for every economic figure that comes out, particularly when it is bad, perhaps he can give me the same courtesy of congratulating me every time we get good news.

Housing—affordability

MS PORTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, recent statistics on housing affordability show that the ACT continues to be the most affordable jurisdiction in Australia. Is this true?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Porter for the question and her continuing interest in housing affordability. As galling as it is for Mr Seselja and the Liberal Party, the latest Real Estate Institute of Australia figures for the September quarter again show that ACT households fared better than households across the whole of Australia. The figures are actually quite startling. In the ACT just 17.2 per cent of family income is needed to meet the average loan repayment. Compare that to the national average of 29 per cent—the ACT 17 per cent, the national average 29 per cent, and across the border in New South Wales—

Mr Seselja: And what is it for first home buyers?

MR STANHOPE: We will get to that. It takes 31.2 per cent in New South Wales, on average, to service a home mortgage.

And we are not just the most affordable when it comes to home ownership. According to the Real Estate Institute, the ACT also leads the affordability pack in the rental market. Here in the ACT, again 17.1 per cent of family income is needed to meet rent payments, compared to the national average of 25 per cent and an average across the border in New South Wales of 27 per cent.

In fact, on Monday night's WIN news—and I am sure members watched Monday night's WIN news—Mr Michael Wellsmore, the ACT President of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, not exactly a red rag organisation closely aligned with the Labor Party, made the point crystal clear when he said, "We are the most affordable jurisdiction in the nation."That is the view of the President of the Real Estate Institute of the ACT. We stack up exceedingly well compared to others—no ifs, no buts.

For the benefit of Mr Seselja and his colleagues, who do have difficulty with numbers—we saw that this morning when Mr Seselja could not quite work out or get his mind around the percentages of people who voted for him in the last election, exactly what it did indicate; that he is the second least successful Liberal leader in the history of the Liberal Party in the ACT, and probably in Australia—I will read out


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