Page 3258 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022
to community housing providers, governments and local governments to deliver more social and public housing in the ACT and across the country. This will have a significant impact here in the ACT.
It is about more than housing alone. Ms Vassarotti will talk about some of the work around the Housing First model, and how those kinds of supports that you wrap around people to keep them in housing give them a fair chance at a decent life, through education, health supports, mental health supports and any other community support services that they might need.
That kind of model, which we have seen in the Gungahlin and Dickson Common Ground, as well as other housing across the ACT and in the homelessness space, has been a real game changer for people who would probably still be on the street today if they had not been able to access programs like Axial Housing, which we put together during the COVID lockdown period.
It is almost about one person at a time in this regard, when we hear those stories. I think that was what you were talking about, Mr Parton, regarding hearing individual stories from people on the challenges that they face. We take our jobs seriously in this place and we want to address them.
I think we have the best chance that we have had in well over a decade, with this new federal Labor government, to make some changes and to have conversations about ways they can support us here in the ACT to continue the important work that we are doing to support people who are experiencing homelessness. They are also working to address those issues across the country. What has been needed in this space is a united, collective and collaborative approach, and I am pleased that we will now get an opportunity to work in that way.
MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (5.32): I am pleased to speak in support of this part of the budget. In commencing my comments, I want to reflect that the work that is undertaken by Housing ACT to support the more than 20,000 Canberrans who are public housing tenants, as well as our community partners in areas such as the specialist homelessness sector, is complex and challenging. They are rarely thanked for this work, but they have been today. Thank you for doing so, Mr Parton. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank them for their work.
Housing ACT continues to work to improve systems and processes to support tenants through their business transformation projects. A new website is progressively being rolled out, and work is occurring to support easier engagement by tenants and potential tenants. I look forward to these projects being progressively rolled out over the next 12 months and beyond.
With respect to the work that sits with Minister Berry, which she has just touched on, in relation to repairs and maintenance, I would like to express my strong support for the significant investment that has been made in the budget in this area, which comes after significant investment last year.