Page 946 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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

through the planning review process. I repeat: when we have these discussions, let us ensure that we bring all of the issues to the table and that we continue to work on ways that we can improve affordability in a way that does not have an irreversible cost, either for people or for the planet.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (3.40): It is my pleasure, as shadow minister for planning and land management, to support the Leader of the Opposition’s motion. It is such an important motion. I am sure there are Canberrans out there, thousands of them, tens of thousands, who have missed opportunities for the housing choice that they want. I am sure they are very pleased to see this motion being moved in this Assembly.

I have heard “housing choice” mentioned a few times by speakers this afternoon, but it seems like it is “the housing choice that we’ll let you have”. That is what that really means. “Here’s the housing choice that we’re going to let you have.” It is not the housing choice that people are clearly showing by tens of thousands turning up for ballots for the release of a small number of pieces of land—clearly, land that is in high demand. It is not housing choice when you are basically denying choice to the community. That is not housing choice.

This important motion acknowledges the impact of the current Labor-Greens’ land release program on the ACT’s housing crisis and the lack of choice that Canberrans are being offered by the Labor-Greens government.

A land release program is an opportunity for the government to support the typology breakdown in the housing market, apart from development and redevelopment. The Leader of the Opposition mentioned the statistics; I think that all of us should be reading these statistics into the record. In Taylor, we had 7,484 people registered for 115 blocks sold. In Macnamara, we had 8,797 people registered for 71 blocks sold. Every other land ballot of late has been the same. This is not the story of a satiated market. Demand is not being met. More needs to be done.

I have asked the relevant ministers, time and again, whether they think the Labor-Greens government is releasing enough land to satisfy demand. The minister for suburban land development says that they are. That is a strange thing to say in response to what the community is clearly indicating.

As members would be aware, during annual reports hearings the Chief Minister and Treasurer refused to acknowledge that restricting the supply of land that Canberrans clearly want does not affect the price of homes in the territory. The Leader of the Opposition spoke about this supply and demand principle, and I think everyone understands what that means. If you restrict the supply of something in high demand, you will influence the price. Of course, who does not know that that is the law of supply and demand? Something called “Barr-onomics” says that if you restrict the supply of something that people really want, it does not affect the price. I look forward to some solid research to back up this rather unusual economic theory.

The statistics tell the story. If the government is really interested in housing choice, how about looking at the facts? People want a choice in dwellings, and the statistics are clearly telling me right now that that choice is not a reality. Just look at the

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