Page 399 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022
MR CAIN: Minister, what message do you have for the 12,316 Canberrans who will not get a block of land for detached housing in Whitlam—buy a flat or move interstate?
MS BERRY: As members in this place will know, there is an affordability issue, a housing and land issue, across the country. The ACT government is not immune to that. As I have said repeatedly, the ACT Suburban Land Agency has not constrained the provision of land through its Indicative Land Release Program. It continues to provide and develop land for purchase across the ACT. In fact, it is private developers that are able to constrain and hold on to land to make a profit.
Mr Cain interjecting—
MS BERRY: But the Suburban Land Agency has not done that. We continue to provide land for sale for the ACT community.
Mr Cain interjecting—
MS BERRY: Madam Speaker, the continuous interruptions are making it very difficult for me to answer these questions. I am trying my very best, but it is very difficult when there are continuous interruptions around the land release program.
For the Indicative Land Release Program, in previous years, from 2017-18 to 2020-21, the land released totalled 14,663 dwellings. The government, through its land agencies, delivered 14,503 dwellings, which is a variance of just 160 dwellings, or one per cent. I know that the opposition likes to suggest that somehow that one per cent indicates a constraining of land supplied. It is simply not the case. When private developers were holding on to land and not providing it for sale in the community, the Suburban Land Agency was continuing to do that.
What we have had across the country is a unique response to COVID that nobody predicted. Not a single person predicted that the housing market would go this way. It was quite the opposite. But in the ACT, for our part, for the two per cent that the ACT government provides, we are continuing to provide that land for sale.
MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. Minister, in answer to a question without notice on 10 February, last sitting week, you said that there was one permanent full-time position that was not able to be filled before the start of the school year—there was only one position vacant.
Minister, the ACT jobs website is currently advertising many jobs for teachers, mainly gazetted on 3 March, including multiple full-time permanent roles for early childhood, primary and secondary classroom teachers. There are also adverts for school leader C and B positions, and there are advertisements for multiple roles for casual and temporary classroom teachers. All these positions are being recruited now, when you said in the last sitting period that there was only one vacancy. Minister, did you mislead the Assembly?