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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1789 ..

Compare the facts. Mr Seselja has got a very good graph which shows that widening gap from when this government got into power and the gap between income and the amount of money that is being spent on houses. That is a failure of this government. What we are seeing is a continued failure of Labor at the federal and local levels.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (4.07): I thank Ms Porter for this motion and the debate that has ensued as a result of it. I note the extent to which the Liberal Party have chosen to ignore the motion completely and move an amendment to essentially negative the motion so as not to debate the significant successes that we have achieved and the linkage between the successful land release program that the government have pursued and the economic strength that we now experience as a community.

That is at the heart of Ms Porter’s motion. It is a position that Ms Porter has pursued as a result of the latest CommSec report in relation to economic performance around the nation and the extent to which CommSec quite deliberately connected the relationship between the fact that, over the last two quarters, we have had the strongest performing economy in Australia and land supply.

The chief economist at CommSec, Craig James, commented that when there is a strong demand for housing, when land has to be created, the ACT government has been creating that land and putting it onto the market. He goes on to say this, and I acknowledge this quote with great respect to New South Wales. He says:

That’s the real difference between the ACT and NSW. The ACT is number one in the rankings, NSW is number eight in the rankings …

In the ACT the economy is being driven forward because when more housing is required, the government just releases more land onto the market and the economy cranks over …

That is what the chief economist said in relation to that very significant achievement of the ACT.

Of course, we have all acknowledged that there are risks. There has been a slowing, most particularly over the last year, in relation to commercial construction. The commonwealth has perhaps peaked in relation to its program of renewing its office accommodation in the ACT, and there is no doubt that the flow-on effects of that softening of commonwealth activity in the commercial market will, over this next period, begin to show.

It is in that context that we continue to look at all of the other indicators that are relevant to the decisions we make in relation to land supplies. Population growth, most particularly, pent-up demand, the strength of the market demand and our assessment in relation to all those issues have led us over each of the last two years to release over 4,000 sites—over 8,000 sites in the last two years—for new housing in

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