Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1790 ..
the ACT. That does not include the about average 1,000 other alternative sites identified by the private sector and brought to the housing market.
We have heard the plaintive cries of the opposition, a party which in government did nothing in relation to these issues to meet the longer term needs of the territory. In its biggest or busiest year of land supply, it managed to get out 900 blocks. That is the record of the Liberal Party in relation to this when in government.
Under the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s affordability index, what do we find in the ACT? We acknowledge that, when one averages out, it is always the case that there will be a significant cohort who struggle to achieve that great Australian dream of homeownership—what I think is an inalienable right, the right for appropriate accommodation, and a heartfelt desire of all of us to own our own homes. In the context of the affordability indicator—the most reliable, the most predictable and the most relevant, that of the Real Estate Institute of Australia—when one looks at the proportion of family income needed to meet either mortgage payments or rent payments, the ACT is far and away, on that indicator, with that methodology, the most affordable jurisdiction in Australia.
In relation to some of the comments that have been made as the Liberal Party talked down our economy and talked down the ACT, it is interesting to note that, on the Australian Bureau of Statistics price index figures for December, the most recent quarter available, the ACT recorded the second-lowest quarterly increase in house prices of any of the capital cities across Australia.
The ACT is mindful of the role that land supply and construction play. Both Ms Le Couteur and Ms Hunter have gone to some of the longer term issues—the issues that are with us now but which we must grapple with with a greater sense of urgency—around the nature of our greenfields development, the level of infrastructure and the quality of infrastructure that is going into greenfields development, the costs and benefits, and the fact that it is a finite resource.
We do need to adjust our thinking, and we are moving to do that; we are striving to do it. We have set ourselves a target of 50 per cent of land in the future being infill, but it is not something we can ramp up immediately. We believe that we have identified somewhere in the order of 700 blocks in this first year. We would like it to be more, but it is not as simple as that. I have to say in relation to that issue of infill that we look to the support of all members of this Assembly, as we had that conversation with the community in relation to the implications of infill and a far more densely populated city than we have experienced in recent times.
The issue of affordability and our affordability action plan is something that is close to my heart—something that I have involved myself in personally and deeply over the last three to four years, I believe successfully. Through the 60 separate initiatives that we have pursued, we have made significant, enormous inroads into the issue of capacity by first homebuyers and others—battling families—to access affordable housing.
We see that in the great partnerships that have been developed—most particularly, and I think most pertinently, with companies such as the Village Building Company