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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 4 Hansard (7 April) . .

Page.. 1284..


MS BERRY: As I said in my first answer, ministers had a welcome discussion around our shared challenges on housing affordability. All jurisdictions have welcomed the recent engagement by the commonwealth on this issue and housing ministers were briefed by the commonwealth assistant minister to the Treasurer about progress on the Council on Federal Financial Relations working on affordable housing.

The commonwealth-led housing affordability working group is considering proposals for innovative financing and structural reform to increase the supply of affordable private and social housing and will update jurisdictions on this work early next month.

As resolved by this Assembly on 17 February 2016, the ACT government has made a formal submission to the working group. Our submission noted the range of initiatives employed across the ACT to deliver more affordable housing for purchase and acknowledged the continuing challenge of increasing the supply of affordable rental accommodation. We argued for a national approach in this area and committed to work with the commonwealth and other jurisdictions.

This need for a common integrated approach to tackling housing affordability is also reflected in our discussions. There is a broad understanding of the different market conditions facing cities, regional and remote areas. Ministers agreed to meet again in November and report on progress through the COAG process.

To support this, we have asked officials to undertake further research on the effectiveness of existing services by September 2016. It remains my view that this work must look seriously into the key economic policy levers of negative gearing and capital gains concessions. Whether the commonwealth government is willing to seriously engage on these options remains to be seen, but we will continue to advocate for coordinated policy mixes as this will deliver the best results for Canberrans in housing stress.

Environment—weed management

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Transport and Municipal Services. In November last year I moved a motion in the Assembly about the substantial cuts that the ACT government has made to weed management funding. The feedback I have received is that African lovegrass is taking over in many areas around the ACT, including around Tharwa. Minister, does your office or directorate keep detailed maps to record your directorate's treatment of African lovegrass in the ACT?

MS FITZHARRIS: The responsibility for managing this part of the weeds program is now with Mr Gentleman, as the Minister for Planning and Land Management.

MADAM SPEAKER: Would you like to take the question, Mr Gentleman?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Lawder for her interest in weed management across the territory, particularly in our nature parks, which are my responsibility now as minister for land management. We do have a particular weed control program that goes out across the territory. Indeed the directorate does have mapping programs of


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