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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1141..


Affordable housing

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, my question is also to the Minister for Planning. Minister, your recent decision to call in the development application on Block 2 Section 6 of the Metropolitan residential towers was made on the basis of high quality design and numerous social and economic benefits. The application was approved, with conditions. Under the environmental assessment finding, one recommendation was that affordable housing is provided within the proposed development in accordance with the affordable housing task force's recommendations for providing affordable housing in this location.

As near as I can assess, the price of units in this development start at $270,000 for one-bedroom units, or $350,000 for two-bedroom units. Could you explain to the Assembly how this constitutes affordable housing?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I cannot recall that particular condition or statement in the development documents. As I need to check that, I will take the question on notice.

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, could you explain to the Assembly how you are actually structuring affordable housing into all current developments-or any current developments would be interesting-including the government's own Kingston Foreshore?

MR CORBELL: Affordable housing is mostly the responsibility of my colleague, Mr Wood. He has carriage of the recommendations and implementations of the affordable housing task force.

There is a clear synergy between housing policy and planning policy, when it comes to addressing issues of affordability. Right now, the government is considering a range of recommendations from the affordable housing task force. I will be discussing these matters further with my colleague, Mr Wood, as we seek to implement those which we believe are most achievable and appropriate to the circumstances facing the ACT.

The government is not going to seek to do things in a piecemeal or ad hoc manner. The government is developing a holistic approach to addressing the issue of affordability. A number of the issues raised in the affordable housing task force included mandating particular levels of affordable housing into development proposals.

Another option was the capacity, as is done in other jurisdictions, to grant greater development rights in return for affordable housing and development. The latter one is certainly contentious, from my perspective. Nevertheless, they are all issues which need to be considered. The government is doing that. Once the government has concluded what it believes is the most appropriate response in relation to the recommendations of the task force. We will be moving to implement them, whether that is in housing policy or through changes to planning and development conditions for sites such as the Metropolitan.

Totalcare

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. Ms Gallagher, you tried to speak to Totalcare workers about their rights this morning, but


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