Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 August 2022) . . Page.. 2270 ..
with the average wait times across all categories averaging 1,045 days, which is almost three years to be placed. The $30 million budget announcement is for delivery of an additional 400 public housing dwellings by 2025. Minister, what do you say to the over 2½ thousand applicants who will not receive a home until after 2025?
MS BERRY: I will take this question, although, for clarification, Minister Vassarotti is the Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services, so her responsibility is with the allocation of housing for people who have applied. However, my responsibilities are with the building and the infrastructure, on which I will focus my response to Mr Parton today.
I think we are all concerned about the place we are in regarding housing provision in this country, including here in the ACT. But we have not ever stepped back from our responsibility for people in the ACT. It is the reason why I am here. I grew up in public housing; Mr Parton is passionate about it as well. I think he grew up in public housing, as well as the Chief Minister. We all want to make sure that everybody in our community has the same chance and opportunities in life, and the chance to broaden their horizons.
We are in a particularly challenging place at the moment in this country. We have a perfect storm, if you like, with regard to housing affordability, and it is particularly affecting those people in our community that can least afford it, who are on no or low incomes. But I remind members in this place that the last time that the Canberra Liberals were in government over a thousand properties were sold off in the ACT. So there would be a thousand less in the situation that we are in now. There would be even less if the properties had not been built that I continued to make sure were built, on land that the Canberra Liberals opposed for housing to be built on.
I can assure members of the community that the Labor Party will be steadfast in its approach to delivering public housing across the ACT. It is something that I know Mr Parton is also very keen to ensure. I have been able to work on this and advise him of our progress in that place, and I will continue to do that if he is interested. (Time expired.)
MR PARTON: Minister, do we have more or less public housing dwellings today than we did in August 2021?
MS BERRY: Mr Parton will know, and members in this place will know—and I have responded to this question yesterday and in other places—that, as we move through this housing renewal and growth program, there will be changes in housing supply as we replace houses, as people are moved into new houses, and indeed as we deal with protests regarding housing being built across the community. So yes—
Mr Parton: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, the question is very specific, in terms of whether we have more or less public housing dwellings today than we did in August 2021. I would ask the minister to be relevant to the question.
MADAM SPEAKER: I understand that, as you were standing, the minister actually made reference to and determined the answer to that.