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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (23 February) . . Page.. 481..


MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?

MS HUNTER: I note that this plan examines vehicle movements and promises to count cyclist movements annually. Why does not the plan also include regular pedestrian movement counts?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Ms Hunter. I am not aware of the formal reason for the discrimination against pedestrians in that way. I will take some advice on that and be more than happy to respond to it.

Housing—public

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the minister for housing. How is the government investing in public and community housing at the moment, minister?

MS BURCH: A thank you to Mr Hargreaves for his interest in public housing. As members will be aware, the federal Labor government has made a massive investment in social housing across Australia as part of its successful stimulus plan for the Australian economy—an investment that constitutes a down payment on the national target of halving primary homelessness in Australia by 2020. Across the nation $6.4 billion is being invested in social housing.

The ACT allocation is $931/2 million for maintenance and new construction. The maintenance contribution from the commonwealth is $6.4 million over two years, and the first year's allocation was fully expended by June of last year and resulted in 143 properties being brought up to current accommodation standards and retained as public housing. A further $3.2 million will be spent in 2009-10 upgrading a further 116 residential units.

This comes on top of $20 million over 10 years that this government is investing in energy efficiencies for existing public housing. Together these initiatives represent a massive investment in our already well-maintained housing stock, improving the amenity and reducing costs for our tenants whilst driving sustainability improvements.

A further $87 million has been provided for the construction of new social housing developments in the ACT. In this area, I can report to members that the ACT is one of the leading jurisdictions in the pace and number of units. The ACT has commenced approximately 60 per cent of construction projects and is on course to commence 87 per cent by the end of June of this year.

This excellent achievement has been matched by the effectiveness of our expenditure of the commonwealth funding. Because of the contribution of territory-owned land that this government has committed to the project and given the highly effective procurement process rollout, we currently anticipate constructing more than 420 units. This represents an almost 20 per cent increase over our original agreement for 357 units and is 37 per cent higher than the Australian government originally identified for the ACT. I think that is outstanding. We have moved from 307 to over 420 units. As outstanding contracts are finalised and the last development approvals are granted, I expect that we will be making further improvements to these figures.


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