Page 944 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

been going on for some years. Our land release program and ongoing private sector redevelopment will continue this trend. It has been a deliberate strategy of the ACT government to continue to release land ahead of population growth.

In addition, we are seeing the private sector contribute their own supply. To be clear, the private sector is contributing not just apartments but also medium-density options such as townhouses.

The ACT government has carefully factored in trends such as the growth in single-person households and the ageing population when assessing likely future needs for Canberra. And the ACT government is committed to equity. This includes ensuring that, when people want to get a foot on the property ladder, they are not forced to live in a far-flung suburb, spending hours each day commuting to work.

We are committed to protecting our environment, which means reducing the impact of urban sprawl on our surrounding bush and landscape, as well as reducing transport emissions. We are also committed to value for money for ACT ratepayers, which means sensibly and efficiently using the infrastructure that we already have. The ACT government will continue to release land ahead of population projections, but this is just one part of providing increased housing supply.

I would like to thank Ms Lee again for bringing particular attention to medium-density housing, and look forward to the opposition’s continued support for additional medium density in our existing suburbs.

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (3.34): I thank Ms Lee for bringing this motion to the chamber. I rise today to speak in support of the amendment to the motion that is being debated. All of us here in the Assembly are very focused on the challenges that we face as a jurisdiction, which are similar to all jurisdictions across the country, around the issues of housing affordability. It is something that we have discussed very regularly over recent months, and I expect we will continue to discuss it. As we have before, and will again, we note that it is important to place this conversation locally in the context of the national and global challenges in this area.

As I noted in a debate in the last sitting period on how to respond to the issue of housing affordability, I again stress that we cannot address the issue of housing affordability without also responding to the other great local, national and global challenges that face us. This includes the climate emergency, the extinction crisis we are facing, and our inequality crisis as we see a widening gap between rich and poor. If we were to do so, even if we were successful in creating some very short-term relief, it would come at an even greater cost, both for us directly today and for future generations.

Current government programs, including the Indicative Land Release Program, aim to provide a balanced program of land release that balance the issues we face as a city, including the housing needs for a growing city; housing choice that is changing and evolving; housing affordability, which is impacted by many things in addition to

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video