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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 1133..


MR BARR (continuing):

Assembly. I will not accept the Leader of the Opposition's time frame, as that may not be in accordance with the completion of the investigation. But I do undertake to come back to the Assembly with further information when it is available. But, again, I stress the point that it is important that that information is accurate and it is provided to the Assembly at the conclusion of a thorough investigation.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, is it possible at this stage to tell whether it was a pre-existing electrical fault or whether it was created as part of the insulation program?

MR BARR: I obviously made a statement to the Assembly yesterday in relation to this matter. What I can say is that I will await further advice on the detail of that investigation. But it has been relayed to me that the incident may not be linked to insulation at all. As I indicated in my statement to the Assembly yesterday, the electrical inspector identified voltage tracking from an electrical device in the roof space through a wet ceiling and timbers in the roof space. So it may not be linked to insulation at all.

Housing—affordability

MS PORTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Can the minister update the Assembly on the latest official housing figures relating to affordability, housing starts and housing value and explain how the government's policies have contributed to these results?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Porter for the question. Indeed, as I am sure all members are aware, some significant regular reports were released over the last two days in relation to housing starts, housing finance and housing affordability. I was fully expecting questions on the latest Real Estate Institute of Australia reports on housing affordability. I also came today expecting questions from members in relation to yesterday's Australian Bureau of Statistics' report in relation to housing starts, housing loans and housing finance in Australia, including in the ACT. But I am very pleased that Ms Porter is interested.

I wonder why it is that the Liberal Party most particularly is not interested in these reports. Having read and digested them, I know why it is that we did not see a flurry of press releases, as we are wont to see in relation to other reports in relation to these issues.

Ms Porter: It is good news, Jon.

MR STANHOPE: Precisely, Ms Porter. The reason there were no questions, the reason there were no press releases and the reason there was no flurry of activity and, indeed, perhaps the reason there were no media reports is interesting. I do not think the Real Estate Institute of Australia's latest quarterly report has not been reported by a single media outlet in the ACT. I wonder why that would be, because it is staggeringly good news for the ACT. It actually reveals again—


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