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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 2 Hansard (18 February) . .

Page.. 648..

rates levied upon those who occupy the lowest value properties. This gave a quarter of households in this city—the poorest households in this city—a rates cut in 2012-13 and continues to ensure that those who live in lower value properties pay proportionately less than higher value properties. That is an important social equity principle. Importantly, rate increases moderate into the future as the most significant of tax reforms are behind us in this first phase with the abolition of insurance tax complete on 1 July this year.

Turning now to other taxes and charges, I am pleased the compulsory third-party insurance fees, which I acknowledge are a significant cost for many Canberrans, have been falling as a result of competition in the territory's CTP market since 2013. It is pleasing to note that the most recent premium announcement made by the CTP regulator this week indicates that premiums have again fallen. This is a good outcome and reflects an important piece of policy work and reform undertaken by my government. There is still more to do in this area to put further downward pressure on CTP premiums.

Improving housing affordability for Canberrans, particularly in the lower two income quintiles, has been a key objective of the government. The government's affordable housing action plan includes numerous initiatives to improve housing affordability, including increasing the supply of land, cutting stamp duty, expanding concessions and increasing the supply of community housing. There are ongoing signs of improvement in housing affordability in the territory, particularly in the rental market where prices have been cooling and low vacancy rates in recent years have eased.

The government is also increasing the supply of land available as an effective way to improve housing affordability across the board. The benefits of this approach flow through to private purchasers and renters as well, of course, as to community housing organisations.

The provision of public housing is a key part of the government's support for cost of living pressures by providing public housing for Canberrans. The government is providing secure accommodation for people who would otherwise have trouble finding and sustaining a tenancy in the public housing market. In recognition of the importance of public housing, the government is undertaking the single largest modernisation of the city's public housing stock in the history of self-government, with almost 1,300 new high quality properties being built across the city.

There are numerous other ways that the ACT government supports the community: the student support fund, the secondary bursary scheme, the mobile dental clinic, the dental services scheme, the women's health service and the human services blueprint. They are further evidence that the government is getting on with the job of supporting the community, responding to cost of living pressures and providing high quality services for all Canberrans.

Discussion concluded.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

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