Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 24 November 2022) . . Page.. 3794 ..
we reach the vision. This is not something that is a tick-a-box answer. This is something that talks to real and significant complexity, the complexity of peoples’ lives that are in this situation. We will continue to work every day to address this issue.
MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. I refer the minister to reports in the media on 11 November this year that there will be no significant increases in public housing stocks for another two years. The latest figures show that there are 3,100 people on the waiting list. Construction time frames have blown out from 12 months to 18 months.
Minister, you have been talking the big talk in public housing for a decade; but in terms of increasing numbers of dwellings, you have not achieved anything, despite us being in an unprecedented housing affordability crisis. Why are there fewer public housing dwellings today than there were a decade ago?
MS BERRY: I thank Mr Parton for the question. I will ask him to recognise that public housing has changed significantly across many decades across the country and now includes affordable housing in the community housing space.
Mr Hanson interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson! Give it a break!
MS BERRY: So, whilst public housing provides homes for those people who are most in need, there are other affordable housing providers in the community housing space, and those numbers have increased. For public housing on its own, however, we still maintain, in the ACT, second to the Northern Territory, the highest per capita in the country. It is our intention to continue to build more public housing in the ACT, to build better public housing that meets the needs of people within our community and to build public housing all across the city where people want to live.
MR PARTON: Minister, when the set of public housing complexes were sold off as part of the asset recycling scheme, why did you allow the profits to go to light rail, as they clearly did?
MR BARR: The asset recycling initiative was managed by the treasurers. Mr Parton— I think he knows better than this! He would understand that the structure of the asset recycling scheme was that the 15 per cent bonus is not the profits, as you have alluded to in that question. It is entirely misleading. The federal government’s 15 per cent bonus had to go into an agreed new asset, and that agreed new asset was light rail. The agreement required that there be no diminution over time of housing—noting that the sale of those properties would require the redevelopment of new housing. The agreement was very clear and signed by the Liberal Party.
Opposition members interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: If you stopped interjecting and paid attention, you would be getting the answer.