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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (10 August) . .

Page.. 2697..


Canberra's 48 specialist homelessness services. This is on top of the $169 million being invested in 2016-17 for public housing renewal, $391 million over the forward estimates.

Aside from public housing renewal, Housing ACT is also replacing and refurbishing properties under its annual capital program. This will see about 70 dwellings replaced each year with properties better suited to meeting the needs of public housing tenants. As more and more of this new housing comes online I have seen the life-changing effect it can have on the people who move in and the great way it is being welcomed into local communities.

As of 30 June 2016 the government's social housing stock was estimated to be 11,659. In the coming three years property numbers will increase by a further 148 to 11,807 properties. The budget also continues our support for Common Ground with funding of $308,000 for onsite services there.

Housing is also deeply linked to the government's better services reforms. In many ways it is the frontier of this work. One of the pilot projects funded under better services was the human services gateway in Belconnen. Recently the gateway has expanded to incorporate child and youth services developing the one-stop-shop philosophy as well as providing an efficiency for the government's investment. The government will provide $4.4 million over three years for OneLink and continue to work with it to progress changes to improve our service system.

Lastly, I again welcome the findings of this year's audit into public housing maintenance. The government is acting on each recommendation and we are now in a better position to ensure that this contract is functioning at its best, both for housing tenants and for taxpayers. I would like to thank both Housing and Spotless for their very constructive engagement during the audit process, and I reaffirm the government's commitment to continuing to work hard to support quality homes and quality lives for our 22,000-plus Housing ACT tenants.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Icon Water Limited—Schedule 1, Part 1.12

MR COE (Ginninderra) (8.53): Icon Water Limited delivers water and sewerage services to the ACT as well as managing investment in ActewAGL on behalf of the territory. As a public trading enterprise Icon Water provides dividends to the ACT government. Last financial year Icon provided a dividend of $76 million, and one-off dividend relief was also provided to Icon by reducing the payout ratio to 64 per cent. Of course, it begs the question why such relief is necessary and whether there are any structural issues with the way water is priced in the ACT or with how Icon is being managed. This matter has been discussed on many occasions in this place, and I dare say there is a chance it will be considered many more times.

Of course, separate to this is the worrying balance sheet for Icon Water, especially when you look at the interest bearing liabilities. The current and non-current interest bearing liabilities are absolutely massive at over $1.5 billion. Then, of course, there is


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