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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1745 ..


But of course it is not only CommSec Economics that believe the ACT is getting things right. Another highly respected research company, Access Economics, in their business outlook released only last week, stated that the ACT benefited from being one of the earlier jurisdictions to recognise the need to increase the pace of land release. Doing that enabled the ACT housing construction sector to swim strongly against the national tide, with activity strengthening remarkably, up by more than 40 per cent through the course of 2009.

I will repeat that: the ACT benefited from being one of the earlier jurisdictions to recognise the need to increase the pace of land release. Doing that enabled the ACT housing construction sector to swim strongly against the national tide, with activity strengthening remarkably up by more than 40 per cent through the course of 2009. The Access Economics report goes on to say that housing construction in the ACT has “sprinted” through the course of 2009 and far exceeded any other jurisdiction.

There you have it: two of the most respected economic research organisations in the country both believe that one of the reasons why the ACT economy is so strong is its land release policy.

So what specifically has the ACT government done that has resulted in the ACT leading the nation in all these areas of economic growth? It is no coincidence that these outcomes have coincided with the implementation in 2007 of the very innovative affordable housing action plan. This government’s affordable housing action plan has seen the following initiatives.

Under accelerated land supply, 3,470 dwelling sites were released in 2007-08, 4,339 new sites were released in 2008-09 and in this financial year we will again bring in excess of 4,000 dwelling sites to market—a further demonstration of this government’s commitment to maintaining a very high level of supply of land in the light of ongoing demand for residential housing.

Increased supply of community housing is another aspect of this affordable housing action plan. The government has provided a $50 million revolving finance facility to the not-for-profit housing organisation CHC Affordable Housing to enable 1,000 new affordable dwellings to be built within 10 years. The OwnPlace initiative is delivering 15 per cent of affordable housing in new estates. 247 blocks have been taken up by the OwnPlace builders panel to date. More than 70 of these homes have been built and 145 are currently under construction.

Then we have the land rent scheme, a scheme that was much pilloried by those opposite. Under the land rent scheme, as of Friday 29 April, 41 blocks have settled and a further 180 blocks have been exchanged. I think you would say that was a success. And I have no doubt that many more young Canberra families who thought that the dream of home ownership was beyond their grasp will take advantage of the land rent scheme with the latest offering of land which is currently occurring at Bonner.

I am proud to be a member of a government that has as one of its highest priorities the provision of affordable housing. And, as members would have heard in the


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