Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4814 ..
MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (8.49): While I do support some of the statements in Mr Seselja’s amendment, we will not be supporting the amendment. For example, paragraphs (2)(b) and (c) support the sentiment of the motion, but paragraph (2)(a) misses the point in that it is private renters, especially those who are just outside the public housing eligibility criteria, that are facing the most housing stress. We know that through the research which has been done by a number of groups. Even if the market was, say, flooded tomorrow with land sales, those people still would not be able to afford to buy homes, and they are the ones that are suffering the most right now, and we know that. My motion is very much about the demand side, and that is the point we have been trying to make today. If we do not get that right, many people in Canberra will be left out of the equation.
I will go to paragraph (2)(e) of Mr Sesleja’s amendment, which refers to the Greens. I would just like to point out that, as Mr Seselja should be aware, we had a flat fee change of use charge for many years with dual occupancies as an example, and the prices did not go down. In fact, they kept going up. So subparagraph (e) has absolutely no factual basis at all, and that is something Mr Seselja should know.
I would also like to refer to the 30 June debate on Mr Seselja’s motion on change of use. The Greens, through Ms Hunter, put forward amendments to that to have an evaluation of the impacts of the change of use charge and that this be undertaken as part of the codification of the change of use charge process to ensure that it does not create an unreasonable barrier to urban densification. Further to that, the government has agreed to provide a full evaluation of the impacts of the codification of the change of use charge, including an assessment of the impacts on urban densification, a cost-benefit analysis and a regulatory impact statement. I just wanted to point that out.
My motion is calling for evidence-based policy. That is something we do not believe we have with the 2007 action plan and something we certainly do not get with Mr Seselja’s amendment.
MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (8.52): I would like to speak briefly, largely on the amendment but, first, on the substance of the motion that Ms Bresnan has moved. I think it is very important to actually define what we mean by “affordable”, because otherwise we can say that every house in Canberra is affordable. Someone in Canberra is going to buy it, therefore someone can afford it. We need to have some more useful definition of “affordable housing”, and Ms Bresnan has made a very positive contribution to getting a definition of “affordable” which would align with the sorts of things that the people of Canberra think is affordable, not the definitions that the government is currently using.
But I mainly wanted to talk about Mr Seselja’s amendment, specifically paragraph (2)(e). Ms Bresnan has spoken about the change of use charge, but I would also like to point out that the Greens have been doing a lot of work around the issues of long-term housing affordability, which relate not just to the initial cost of the house but to the cost of living in the house afterwards. I will look at a number of things.
This morning the Liberal and Labor parties combined to stop debate on the subject of solar access and passive solar design. Passive solar design and solar access are