Page 110 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 8 February 2022
deliver the outcomes of the strategy, as we all work together to make sure that Canberrans, regardless of their backgrounds, regardless of where they want to live, regardless of their means in life, have safe, secure and affordable homes to live in.
MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (4.39): I rise today to speak in support of Ms Berry’s amendment to Mr Parton’s motion on housing and homelessness issues.
I would like to thank Mr Parton for continuing to highlight the important issue of housing affordability and homelessness, giving Minister Berry and me the opportunity to affirm why housing is a priority for this government, and how we are responding. I suggest that all parties in the Assembly are actually on a unity ticket when it comes to our deep concern about the state of housing affordability and the need to eliminate homelessness. To effectively act on our shared concern to drive real change, we all need to have a clear understanding about what actions are under the control of the ACT government and what requires national action.
As has previously been put on the record in this Assembly, there is significant work underway by government and community partners to address housing affordability and homelessness; then there are factors that sit beyond the ACT government’s control. As much as I would wish it, these are issues that will not be solved by a single action; they require sustained action.
Today’s motion is largely in response to the latest Report on Government Services, known as ROGS, that provides an imperfect but nevertheless useful national dataset on housing affordability and homelessness issues, where the ACT sits in relation to other jurisdictions, and the picture of change over time. This report is contextualised with updated information on community needs.
This year’s ROGS once again highlights that people on the lowest incomes are facing the worst impacts from the turbocharged housing market that is impacting countries across the OECD. It highlights that the demand for housing as part of capital wealth accumulation cannot be addressed by simple solutions such as just increasing land supply. It shows that while the ACT government should and will continue to increase our stock of public and community housing, without changes to federal taxes and concessions affecting housing the market will continue to overheat. Further, as my colleague Minister Berry rightly pointed out, when it comes to building more affordable housing, the ACT government are doing our part and lifting our response.
We continue to have the highest proportion of social and public housing, and we are adding 400 more. But we cannot achieve what is needed when the federal partner has vacated the field. The Morrison government are simply not providing anywhere near the level of leadership, funding or policy reform required so that states and territories can partner with them to quickly and effectively address the housing crisis.
This ROGS demonstrates that our allocation process is highly targeted and is providing homes to those in greatest need, including people who are experiencing