Page 941 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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There is simply no housing choice in the ACT under this Labor-Greens government. You either compete with tens of thousands of Canberrans for one of the few blocks zoned for freestanding houses, or you move your family into an apartment. If Labor and the Greens are restricting land supply for the types of housing that they know people want, of course, the prices will go up. It is no secret; it is not rocket science. It is basic economics—supply and demand.

ACT Treasury has even told this Labor-Greens government that this would happen in the latest budget review. ACT Treasury states:

If the demand for land is higher than supply, then there may be upward pressure on prices which would see an increase to Government revenues, in the absence of a supply response.

Not only is Treasury telling the Labor-Greens government and the Canberra community that lack of supply will probably see prices go up, but also, of course, it will increase government revenue. The result is a housing market so restricted by this Labor-Greens government, so tight, that Canberrans are left deprived of their dream of owning their own home.

The Chief Minister recently spoke about the need for the ACT to attract and retain young talent. The Deputy Chief Minister has been speaking about the shortage of teachers and their yet-unfulfilled election promise to hire 400 more. The Minister for Health has been speaking about the need to recruit more nurses. How can we even begin to fulfill these goals of attracting talent to our city when they know that they will either be forced into a high-rise apartment whether they like it or not, or they will have to line up with the tens of thousands of Canberrans for the chance to nab a block for a detached house? We cannot attract much-needed workers to Canberra if they cannot afford to live here.

Under the watch of this Labor-Greens government, the median house price is now over $1 million. We have the highest rents in the country, and we have tens of thousands of Canberrans lining up to bid on blocks where the chance of getting it is 123 to one. Canberrans want choice when it comes to housing, and this Labor-Greens government is wedded to an infill policy agenda that is absolutely failing our community.

My motion today calls on this government to address the lack of realistic housing options for Canberrans. We are in a housing crisis. Whilst there are complex and varied reasons for housing affordability, this Labor-Greens government must take steps to at least address the factors that are within its control. I commend my motion to the Assembly.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.28): I am pleased to have another opportunity to talk about what this government is doing to improve housing affordability and housing supply. I move the following amendment to Ms Lee’s motion:

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