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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4724 ..

Mr Smyth: But you won’t rule it out?

MS GALLAGHER: That is right. I will not rule any tax in or out as we are undergoing an ACT taxation review. I think it would interfere with the work of the review panel. They have been given the opportunity to have an honest, hard look at our own-source revenue and to provide advice to government about whether or not reforms need to be made. That might be looking at current taxes and changing them, maybe abolishing some of them. Who knows? I am not going to rule that out or in either. It is just not sensible. This is the work that we have commissioned. I am sure it will inform future Assembly debates on the issue of own-source revenue and how we provide services to the Canberra community.


MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Could the minister update the Assembly on how the ACT government is delivering on its election commitments in housing and homelessness, please?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his continued interest in housing in the ACT. This Labor government has a proud record of achievement in the delivery of social housing and homelessness services to our community. At the last election we undertook to run an efficient and targeted public housing system and to increase the range of support programs for people experiencing homelessness. I am pleased to report that we have made significant progress against our promises.

Unlike the previous Liberal government, this Labor government is actually committed to growing the number of social housing dwellings through an increase in the supply of public, community and affordable housing. The number of public housing dwellings when we were elected in 2001 was 11,454. I am delighted to say that, as a result of activity under the nation building and jobs initiative, over 400 extra dwellings will be constructed. The ACT government has also invested in building more dwellings.

This program will leave us with nearly 12,000 houses when we finish this project in the middle of next year. This includes 297 two and three-bedroom units on the eight community facility sites to house older public housing tenants who wish to relocate from their existing properties that are too large for them. This is to say nothing of the support that the ACT government has provided CHC Affordable Housing, which will see a growth in the number of affordable housing rental stock by 500 dwellings over a 10-year period.

On environmental efficiency, I can confirm that all new stock constructed will have a minimum six-star energy rating. This will not only benefit the environment through lower energy consumption but also financially assist low income earners through reduced power bills. The ACT government has invested $20 million over 10 years to improve the energy efficiency of existing public housing stock, and over 2,000 public housing dwellings have received energy efficiency improvements.

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