Page 2257 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2022

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MS LEE: Minister, did you or your directorate undertake any economic analysis of the effect it would have on the rental market and, if so, will you table that?

MR RATTENBURY: There has been a regulatory impact statement on that, as part of the consultation package.

MR PARTON: Minister, how do you think this policy will affect rental affordability? Will it make it more or less affordable to rent in the ACT?

MR RATTENBURY: That is a definitional question. What we do know is that right now, with the low vacancy rates, landlords are basically setting their prices to the market. That is, I think, a fair observation—that they are seeking to extract the best possible rent they can. I do not think that is necessarily being shaped by cost-side factors; it is being shaped by demand-side factors. That is a fair observation when you think about the way that market works. In terms of Mr Parton’s question about whether this will make it more or less affordable for tenants, which I think is what he was going to, what we looked at is that for tenants this will reduce their energy bills. That is a very significant component of household costs. If a house is better insulated, the tenants will have not only better quality of life but probably better health outcomes. They will also have reduced energy bills.

We face the problem here, the classic problem, where landlords are not motivated to upgrade their properties, because they do not derive the direct benefits. The reduced energy bills will be to the benefit of the tenants. There is not a precise answer to Mr Parton’s question, but they are certainly the considerations that the government is taking into account.


MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Health. I refer to the Canberra Times article on 31 July, where a nurse said:

Every time I walk down a corridor I'm terrified I'm going to find someone dead in a bed.

Minister, how long have you been aware that patients are left unattended in corridors of the Canberra Hospital?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I have had a number of conversations with Canberra Health Services about the management of the emergency department and how it is looking. Members in this place would be aware that, in the ACT we do not ramp ambulances outside of our emergency departments, and so you do not see the frontpage splash about the massive amount of ambulance ramping that you see in other jurisdictions. Patients are dropped off inside the emergency department and are supported and monitored inside the emergency department. I have been assured by Canberra Health Services that having in corridors patients who have not already been medically assessed is not that common, but it does sometimes happen that patients are being cared for in corridors.

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