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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3138..

DR FOSKEY: I have a supplementary question. Could the minister please advise the Assembly of the extent of the government's long-term commitment to community housing and whether it plans to grow the sector?

MR HARGREAVES: At the moment, the government is very committed to the notion of community and social housing. I say "at the moment"because there needs to be a fundamental change in that sector, a real-time fundamental change. There has to be an attitudinal change by the people running it. They need to start considering what they were actually created to do and start delivering to the people the services they purport.

Mr Speaker, I will just indicate to you some of the developments interstate. When the housing ministers get together and talk about these things, the attitude of the ministers from the different states is quite different. We know, for example, that Mr Schwarten, the Queensland minister for housing, if he is still there, has the view that community and social housing is an administrative layer that we do not need, that we should be providing those extra funds to the public housing sector and providing those support mechanisms within it, so that there should be no difference between community and public housing. Other ministers have varying approaches, some of them embracing that one but not quite.

We are concerned, for example, to ensure that housing services given to indigenous people are actually provided by indigenous housing experts and groups. Those sorts of things are important to the government. Let me reiterate the point I just made as strongly as I can so that Dr Foskey can go back to her friends in ACT Shelter and CCHOACT and tell them quite clearly that they have to lift their game because, if they do not lift their game, we will do it for them.

QEII site—sale

MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Planning. It relates to the sale of the QEII site in the city. Minister, in your comments to the media you stated that the disposal of the site had not been finalised and would be sold off by the end of the year by the Land Development Agency using one of the mechanisms in the land act. Can you categorically rule out that no deal or arrangement has been entered into with a particular developer regarding this site?

MR CORBELL: I can categorically rule out that the site has not yet been sold by the LDA.

MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, has the government received any offers relating to the QEII site and, if so, what were those offers?

MR CORBELL: As Mr Seselja is aware, the Land Development Agency is pursuing the options of a joint venture arrangement for the development of that site to achieve the best possible return to the taxpayer from the realisation of the value of that site. Those negotiations are ongoing and are subject to the LDA being successful in acquiring a major tenant to the site, which will increase the value of the site to the taxpayer in the return we get for it.

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