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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3214 ..


With regard to problems in the region and homelessness and a genuine strategic approach to housing, I think we need to make sure that we are dealing with Queanbeyan, in particular, but also Yass, Goulburn and Cooma. The borders that we have here around the ACT may well be significant in this place from a legislative and government point of view, but they do not mean a great deal to businesses and to individuals. If you are homeless and you are living in Queanbeyan or if you are homeless here in the territory, that border means absolutely nothing.

At the moment, I fear that the lack of communication we have, especially between the Queanbeyan City Council, community services in Queanbeyan, Housing ACT and community services here in the territory, is causing problems, and those problems should be resolved as quickly as possible. I do not think it is good enough that a border between Queanbeyan and Canberra should be so much of an obstacle that it dictates whether someone has a place to sleep on any given night. It is an appalling indictment of the bureaucracy when such an artificial barrier becomes such a significant barrier.

I note that the average cost of public housing per dwelling has increased by just under four per cent, going up to $10,073. That is a huge cost per public house. As I said earlier, when you are spending that much money per public house and you have got somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 to 11,000 houses, that is a great opportunity to do something very exciting with that money to make sure we actually are delivering a very good service. I certainly would be wanting to contribute to that discussion over the coming couple of years, but I do hope that other members of this place also contribute to that discussion as well.

Going on from what Ms Bresnan said about the stimulus package and the vagaries surrounding it, I think it is a very good point. I do not think anybody really knows exactly what we are getting for this stimulus package and the money as part of the national program. There seem to be many different levels and many different stages within this process. The ongoing capital expenditure seems to be mixed in with the national stimulus package money. To an extent, it really is very hard to determine what is normal ongoing capital expenditure and what is genuine special expenditure as part of the stimulus package.

I would like to see the minister for housing provide a very clear breakdown of what is national money, what is territory money, what would have happened had the national money not been given, what is happening now that it is being given, and when we will resume normal operations with a normal capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure as well.

It is also worth noting, of course, that the Labor-Greens agreement does have a 10 per cent commitment to public housing. We have discussed that on a number of occasions. For a while we heard some people in this place say it was a bit of a pipedream and something for well into the future. But, over the last few months, we have heard members of the Greens especially talk about this more so. If it is no longer going to be a pipedream and is no longer going to be something for the midterm or long term and may well be something to be achieved in the short term, then it is important for the government and for the crossbench to clarify what that 10 per cent


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