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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 482 ..

As a consequence of the efforts of both the ACT and the commonwealth governments under the social housing stimulus plan, we are about to achieve a very significant boost to social housing stock in the ACT. This will reduce homelessness and provide us with the flexibility to take on other aspects of the national reform agenda.

At the same time, we have safeguarded employment for the skilled tradesmen and apprentices in the territory, protecting the capacity of the construction industry and underpinning the performance of the ACT economy. As members will be aware, the recent survey of economic growth in the states and territories showed the ACT as the second strongest performer, based in substantial part on the performance of our construction sector.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hargreaves?

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker, and I thank Mr Coe for his forbearance, because he is, after all, one of God’s chosen children.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves.

Mr Hanson: How was lunch, John?

MR HARGREAVES: I do not know; you were there.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hargreaves—

MR HARGREAVES: You were at the pub, mate. I walked past and there you were.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hargreaves, the question, thank you.

MR HARGREAVES: I don’t know. Good on you, Greg! Mr Speaker, could the minister advise the Assembly of the impact of this and other initiatives on homelessness in the ACT, please.

MS BURCH: Thank you for your continued interest in housing. A key focus in this spending is the reduction of primary homelessness in the ACT. To this end, we will be tracing the tenancy pathways for units constructed under the program. Given that a number of units will be targeting older persons and those with disabilities, they may be allocated to existing housing tenants. However, by tracking these tenancies, we will be able to ensure that the units vacated will be used to target homelessness in the territory.

Mr Speaker, in addition to the new constructions, we are maintaining our support for homelessness services in the territory. In 2009-10, a total of $18.575 million has been made available by the ACT and commonwealth governments for direct funding for homelessness services in the ACT. There will also be $20.128 million available for the period 2008-13 for homelessness services through the homelessness national partnership agreement, including “A place to call home”. The funding will be for new programs and to expand existing ones as well as increasing the amount of social housing stock with the purchase of new properties.

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