Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 4 August 2022) . . Page.. 2351 ..
statement! Insane capital growth has been accrued over the last couple of years—huge capital, which can be tapped into for renovations, for a family holiday now that the borders are open, and for all sorts of things, such as a new Tesla. Most people who own investment properties in this city now have the capital, given how much the market has taken off in the last couple of years, to make some of these choices.
What is implied in that letter is that the government should either not provide supports to tenants through advocacy bodies and Legal Aid supports or it should spend ratepayers’ money on helping landlords advocate for their interests. It is a ludicrous proposition, a laughable proposition and one which I think the majority of Canberrans will find offensive—particularly those forking out well in excess of 20 per cent of their weekly income, which is what is deemed to be affordable housing, to pay rent in one of the most expensive cities in the country in which to rent.
I would strongly counsel the industry which used to represent me for 12 years, the organisation that used to represent me and my industry for the last 12 years, to consider whether or not they really have the social licence in this city to be running these sorts of arguments—whether they want to be consigned to the dustbin of history or whether they want to work with government to provide progressive reforms that are good for tenants and ultimately will be good for landlords.
It has been a really hard time over the last couple of years to be a tenant in this city. We in the ACT Greens understand that, we hear that, and we will continue to advocate for you and for your interests in this place and other similar places. We will continue to work hard in government, and from these benches, to increase the stock of social and affordable housing.
The PAGA, in fact, commits the government to 400 more properties over the course of this term—substantially more than was committed by other parties in this place prior to the election. That is testament to how seriously the Greens take this issue.
I look forward to continuing to work with the Attorney-General having regard to my experience, both prior to my election to this place and in this place, to get these reforms right and to get the balance right. I would encourage every landlord in this city who finds these reforms concerning to consider deeply whether or not property investment is the right investment strategy for them, and whether now is the right time to pull their capital and find a good real estate agent—after 12 years doing this, I know a few; call my office for a referral! Perhaps they should put their property on the market and move into other forms of investment. They have chosen to invest in people’s homes. They have chosen to invest in people’s families and in people’s lives. They have obligations to them. Please honour them and be good landlords.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (10.29): I am pleased to update the Assembly