Page 588 - Week 02 - Thursday, 24 March 2022

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Questions without notice


MS LEE: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, earlier this week you seemingly agreed that Canberra is in a housing crisis, but then said that the Labor-Greens government is responsible for only two per cent of the land release in the ACT. Can you please clarify whether you mean that is two per cent of the total greenfield land released or the entire housing market?

MS BERRY: I can confirm that it is the entire market, not just greenfield.

MS LEE: Minister, how many blocks for detached housing will be released in the next financial year?

MS BERRY: I direct the Leader of the Opposition to the Indicative Land Release Program for previous years, but for this year that has not been released yet.

MR CAIN: Minister, what responsibility does your government have for Canberra’s housing crisis?

MS BERRY: As members of the opposition will know, we spoke at length about this earlier in the week. The housing crisis across the country and internationally, as well as in the ACT, is rising, and the ACT has not been immune from that. The ACT has, with the levers for which it has responsibility, been able to improve housing affordability by reducing stamp duty across every budget, and by abolishing stamp duty for off-the-plan unit purchases up to $600,000. We have our land release program; we have the homebuyer concession scheme. We are aiming to deliver 600 additional affordable dwellings. There is the Pensioner Duty Concession Scheme, and 400 public housing dwellings. We also have our Indicative Land Release Program, which has increased by more than 2,000 for the next four years, and we will continue to develop land. When other developers hold back, the ACT government does not.

ACT Health—COVID-19 data

MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Health. Today the Canberra Times has reported that FOI documents have revealed that health authorities did not know the vaccination status of more than one in four COVID-19 patients in our hospitals. It also reported that one person who had died of COVID in hospital was recorded as having recovered. Minister, why don’t health officials know the vaccination status of one in four COVID hospital patients?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: They do. There was a period when there was a change in the way that this data was collected and the way that ACT Health was reporting this data. That period coincided with a query that the journalist was asking. To put it in summary terms, in the ACT Health Directorate the Health Emergency Control Centre had previously been responsible for case management information and collecting data on all cases of people with COVID-19, and that included collecting their vaccination status.

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