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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4353..

MR WOOD (continuing):

The intention is to release these blocks to households on low and moderate incomes. Blocks will be made available in this financial year at Ginninderra Ridge and Wells Station Estates and Gungahlin Central. They will be released by way of ballot with entry restricted by household income. It will be necessary for those wanting to participate to provide evidence that they meet the eligibility criteria. The LDA is finalising the development conditions and will conduct the ballot towards the end of this year. Information on that will be provided shortly.

As to the procurement of ACT housing, for a number of reasons the current panel for pre-qualified home builders does not necessarily provide value for money when compared with going to the open market. The replacement of ACT housing properties lost in the bushfires demonstrated in a practical way that we could do things differently. Therefore, the government intends enabling ACT Housing, consistent with best value for money guidelines, to go to the open market for construction of stand-alone-I repeat the word "stand-alone"-public housing dwellings. The government withdrew $32 million quite safely from the ACT home loans portfolio last year. We will monitor that portfolio closely and are proposing that it be reviewed biannually. The availability of equity funds for distribution will be assessed.

I have rather shortened this statement as I have gone through. I encourage members-I do not think they will mind-to read it. The government has consulted, listened and done its research. It recognises the interdependencies of the housing market and the debilitating problems of homelessness. A number of carefully considered initiatives across government have been implemented to address an issue that encompasses different ministers' portfolios, funding programs, policies and interests. The government has recognised the fundamental importance of housing, including public housing, in improving wellbeing and has backed this up with a significant financial commitment to expand the valuable stock of public housing, social housing, in the ACT.

MR SPEAKER: Before you move on to your next paper, Mr Wood, I just want to go back to a point of order that was raised by Mrs Burke around question time. She quoted from a tape and I said that I would review the tape. It confirms the words which were repeated in the Assembly by Mrs Burke. I apologise for any inconvenience that my oversight on the question may have caused.

Review of housing market renters

Paper and statement by minister

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (4.31) For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Review of Housing ACT-Market renters, dated August 2004, prepared by the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services.

I seek leave to incorporate my statement in Hansard.

Leave granted.

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