Page 438 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

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And when it comes to writers, I want to know who wrote paragraph (b), which calls on the ACT government to continue to deliver land and housing options that provide diverse and affordable housing options to give Canberrans choices. That is straight out of a stand-up comedy routine! When I read that I thought, “No, that cannot possibly be the case.” The state of the housing market in the ACT is not okay, it is not improving, and you cannot continue to turn a blind eye to that problem.

Many Canberrans want to buy a detached home. That was reported in the Winton report, which showed that the majority of Canberrans wanted detached housing. The government did not listen. They have chosen their own narrative to conclude that most people want medium-to-high-density dwellings. We continue to hear this argument—we heard it from Ms Clay, Ms Vassarotti and Mr Gentleman—that it is about the climate impact of urban sprawl.

Again, I say that if the market is calling for detached housing and we do not deliver that to the market, the market will go to South Jerrabomberra, Googong and Bungendore and purchase detached housing there, so the commute into Canberra will be greater. The climate does not stop at the ACT border. The arguments about endless urban sprawl if we do not provide detached housing to the market are ridiculous, because the urban sprawl will just get greater and greater. Where in the housing strategy is there a safe backyard for children to play? Where is there a safe backyard for dogs to roam? Where is there a secure yard for family gatherings of more than five people that simply will not fit on a standard apartment building balcony, if you are lucky to get a balcony?

Canberrans want housing. This was further noticeable in the recent land release ballots, which we have covered off in this debate today. I think the challenge is far from over for many Canberrans trying to buy a detached home or a block of land to build, and many of them are moving interstate to buy in areas that are affordable for them and yet are still 30 to 60 minutes’ drive away from Canberra.

One of the things that has not been talked about much of late is how much those people have been affected by the skyrocketing petrol prices. I was speaking to a business owner the other day who told me most of his staff live in interstate venues. A stack of them live in Bungendore and some of them live in Goulbourn. He is staring down the barrel of having to come up with pay subsidies so that his staff can still get to work. These people purchased a home way over yonder because they could not afford one in the ACT, and now they cannot afford the commute.

The lack of land release each year, with the amount of people registering, should be enough evidence that this government is not doing enough. There are three political parties represented in this parliament, but it is very clear that only the Canberra Liberals are serious about addressing the housing affordability crisis. We will not be supporting Ms Berry’s amendment.

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (3.57): I thank Ms Lee for bringing this very important motion before the Assembly. There is a housing affordability crisis in Canberra. This motion calls on the ACT government to acknowledge this reality. As I

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