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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1749..

MS LE COUTEUR (continuing):

movement. This can lead to overcapitalisation of houses and decreasing housing affordability. I wonder whether the ACT government will be lobbying for an abolition of state stamp duties and their replacement by other commonwealth income.

The other thing about housing is our population growth, which is driving our housing demand. The question needs to be asked: is the ACT's population growth sustainable? I am sure that all members will be aware that part of the ACT Greens agreement with the Labor Party when we supported them to become the government was an inquiry into the carrying capacity of the ACT region. This is very important for housing demand.

I would like to conclude by saying again that better housing development is more affordable housing development—such as what the Greens have been talking about in the context of Molonglo. We launched a paper about better development in Molonglo. More efficient housing in the long run improves housing affordability. This is because houses which are better built cost less to heat and less to cool. Water bills will be lower. They use water more efficiently. Transport costs will be lower if we develop Molonglo better. If we have a good public transport system, and if we have a good walking and cycling network, then people will not have to always have two cars to live in Molonglo—if we have a good public transport system, if we have a good, sustainable, active transport system.

In the context of housing affordability, it is also worth noting that Australians have the largest new homes in the world, so any modest increase in capital cost through building better houses—and it would be a very, very modest increase—could be offset by a small reduction in the average size of houses. Houses in Molonglo could possibly be closer to the size of the average house in Canberra rather than the largest sizes of new houses in Canberra.

As Ms Porter's motion is basically a statement of facts, the Greens will be supporting her motion today.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.33 to 2 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage): Members are aware that the Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, is unable to be in attendance today for question time. If there are questions that people are minded to ask the Attorney-General, I am happy to take those today.

Leave of absence

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development,

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