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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2010) . . Page.. 151 ..


they can grow and develop. No, they just come and penny-pinch on false dollar figures.

On housing, Mr Seselja has simply got it wrong when he complains about the cost per dwelling for public housing in the ACT. The cost simply reflects the value of land in the ACT. It is not a measure of the efficiencies or otherwise of public housing.

Mr Seselja: You take out the capital component and it is still the second highest; so explain that then.

MS BURCH: And what is more, that high figure represents the high value of public housing stock to the territory, which of great benefit to us all.

Mr Seselja: I use both figures. You have not grasped it, Joy. Did you look at the other figures?

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Seselja!

MS BURCH: Let me explain the position to Mr Seselja, because he seems not to have understood. Chapter 16 of ROGS deals with housing. The housing chapter looks at a range of measures to assess the performance of the provision of housing assistance by each state and territory as far as practicable on a comparable basis. One measure is the cost of providing assistance per dwelling for public housing across all jurisdictions. That measure is reported in table 16.12. Mr Seselja refers to it in his motion.

The cost for the ACT reported in the 2010 report on government services is $36,672 per dwelling. Quite rightly, as Mr Seselja points out, it is the highest in the country and some $10,598 above the national average. Of course, upon a very preliminary analysis, which I think others in this chamber have agreed that is all they are capable of, these figures provoke a negative response. But on close inspection, the ACT figure is close to both Western Australia at $35,596 per dwelling and the Northern Territory at $32,881 per dwelling.

Why, it must be asked, is the ACT not more comparable to New South Wales at $24,653 or Victoria at $25,458 per dwelling, which are much closer to the national average of $26,074? The answer is revealed, if those opposite took the time to look, in table 16.5; so just read a little bit further on. The financial indicators for public housing 2004-05 to 2008-09 are based on dollars per dwelling. The table shows the breakdown of costs that make up the $36,672 per dwelling for the ACT and those for the other jurisdictions.

Upon analysis of the amounts shown in that table, one figure stands out as the major cause for this higher cost. That amount refers to the indicative user cost of capital for land, which for the ACT is $19,814 per dwelling or 54 per cent of the total cost per dwelling. The indicative user cost of capital represents the opportunity cost of the value of land held by Housing ACT. The indicative capital cost for the ACT is $19,313 or 89 per cent above the national average. The reason for this is that public housing in the ACT is located within the metropolitan area and not spread across rural


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