Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 7 April 2022) . . Page.. 953 ..
absolutely critical that we keep having those detailed conversations. I take a bit of hope from the input that we got the last time that we did detailed, deliberative consultations. It was really interesting to get that feedback. As we are moving through the climate crisis and the extinction crisis, it is so important that we are planning future housing with our environmental lens front and centre for all of those considerations.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.08): I rise to support Elizabeth Lee’s motion in its unamended form and to highlight, again, the crisis that the Canberra housing market is facing. The truth is that it is falling on deaf ears and it is the Canberra Liberals that are again bringing the issues of the housing crisis to this Assembly, in the hope that this government might actually do something about the problem that it is certainly exacerbating.
With a mix of 70 per cent land release for high density, 25 per cent for detached housing and five per cent for mid-density dwellings, it is not providing choices. You just cannot say that it is. To the average Jane or Joe out there, what this tells them is that most people will have to buy an apartment. I have two families close to me, people who are under the age of 30, who have desperately—desperately—been trying to purchase a detached house.
One of those families has made the call on that. Irrespective of the fact that they want a piece of land with a house on it, they are going to have to buy an apartment, so they have bought one off the plan. The other family are just hanging on in there, turning up to auctions every week, putting themselves down for those lotto draws—that is how we should describe the housing balance—and getting disappointed week after week, after week. To tell those two families that they are being given choice is ridiculous.
Mr Gentleman, in his speech earlier, said that smaller dwellings are great value for money. What Mr Gentleman actually meant was: “Smaller dwellings are all you will ever be able to afford. I have got my big house at Calwell with my seven cars in the garage, in the inner south, so I am okay. Smaller dwellings are going to be all that you can afford and that is just tough luck. Sorry; you should have come along earlier. You are not going to get the choice that I got.” That is what Mr Gentleman is saying.
With the mix of 70 per cent land release for high density, 25 for detached housing and five for mid-density dwellings, what we are seeing here is that there is not a choice. Canberrans want choice. Choice is being able to choose a product, not being forced into a purchase because the government provides more of one option than another. It would be like offering 70 per cent travel by light rail, 25 per cent by bus and five per cent by car. That is offering choice, isn’t it? That is offering choice. I mean, that is three choices.
Mr Gentleman also talks about reducing the impact of urban sprawl. In many instances, when you talk about those individual choices of where people are going to purchase dwellings, it does not reduce urban sprawl at all because so many of those families are choosing to purchase land over the border in New South Wales. Aspirational families who want to build homes are choosing to purchase land in New South Wales and build their home on the other side of the border. Electorally, of