Page 1603 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022

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On the historic housing debt, the Chief Minister and I have been calling for this to be waived, but these calls often fell on deaf ears with the coalition government. This issue came to prominence in 2019, with the waiving of the historic housing debt for Tasmania as part of an agreement with Senator Jacqui Lambie. Both the Chief Minister and I have already had discussions at multiple levels of the new commonwealth government and I am looking forward to an outcome that will see more funding to maintain, renew and grow public housing in this city.

The ACT government and the Labor Party are some of the strongest supporters of public housing. And now, with our friends and colleagues the Greens supporting that call, we know that we can make even more improvements here in the ACT. With the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister growing up in government housing—and Mr Davis and Mr Parton as well—and our Prime Minister growing up in public housing, the Labor Party understands the safety and security that public housing provides to families and individuals who need it most. The Chief Minister and I are absolutely committed to extending the safety net as far as we can to build more public housing for Canberrans.

At a federal level, the issue has been elevated to natural prominence, as I said. The Albanese government has committed to a national housing and homelessness strategy, something that I and the sector here in the ACT have been calling for now for almost a decade. The commitments in the election campaign for social and affordable housing are a very welcome change, including the establishment of a $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund to support the delivery of 30,000 social and affordable houses across the country, with a priority focus on women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.

In conclusion, the Chief Minister and I, with the support of our colleagues in the ACT Greens, and now with the Canberra Liberals today, will continue to work across government to deliver on our ACT housing strategy, reflecting our strong and shared commitment to public housing in the ACT. I look forward to working with the new Australian government on this national challenge to deliver more housing for families looking for a place to call home.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (3.31), in reply: It seems everybody had an important job today and we all did our job well. By Mr Parton’s own admission, I am the ideas man and I brought the motion forward. The Chief Minister provided us with the background. The housing minister provided us with the context of what we are doing right now. Minister Davidson brought us the data and Mr Parton brought us the jokes. So everybody had a part to play and everybody played their part excellently today. Well done, everybody!

I am pleased that, as a result of this motion, the private conversations—as I believe Mr Parton might have put it—that we might not have heard or that might not have been public with the previous coalition Treasurer at least now are public. At least now we can see that the Canberra Liberals have a clearly articulated position on the forgiveness of the historical public housing debt. That means the Canberra Liberals have two housing policies. The first, of course, is to bulldoze every square inch of the

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