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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 8 December 2010) . . Page.. 5958 ..

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, are CHC properties affordable for people on low incomes or for one or more people on median incomes?

MR STANHOPE: I think members are aware of the hierarchy that applies in the ACT in relation to housing. For those Canberrans on low incomes that have difficulty accessing housing as a result of other pressures that they are experiencing and the cost of the private market, of course, they have access to the largest public housing infrastructure suite in the whole of Australia. The ACT—at around nine per cent, with 11½ thousand units in public housing—does twice as much as any other government in Australia in seeking to meet the needs of those within the last quintile in expenditure or income in Australia.

It should always be remembered in any discussion around issues of affordability and social housing in the ACT that we, at around nine per cent, with the stock of ACT public housing, are the largest providers of public housing in Australia by far. I understand that in Victoria, for instance, 3½ per cent of housing in Victoria is public housing. I understand in New South Wales that the figure is somewhere in the order of four per cent. In the ACT it is around nine per cent, at 11½ thousand.

So any discussion around the availability or the provision of affordable housing within the ACT has to take account of the enormous effort that this jurisdiction, under successive governments, has put into the provision of public housing. We accept that, over and above those that do not meet the threshold—and this goes to Ms Bresnan’s question—that there is another large quintile of Canberrans, a significant quintile, that still are in significant housing stress. That is why we are pushing so aggressively all of the actions under the national housing action plan.

I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answer to question without notice

Alexander Maconochie Centre—capacity

MR CORBELL: I wish to follow up on some questions asked by Ms Bresnan and taken on notice yesterday. Ms Bresnan asked me what proportion of prisoners are eventually given a non-custodial sentence and what impact this has on capacity. The answer to that question is, as recorded in the latest ABS criminal courts in Australia statistics, that 65.8 per cent of defendants coming before the court in the ACT are found guilty. Of these defendants, 85.5 per cent received non-custodial sentences. Data on the number of defendants who are remanded in custody prior to finalisation of their cases is not immediately available.

In relation to what is the breakdown of prisoner demographics, which was the other question asked of me by Ms Bresnan yesterday, I can advise the member that as of 7 December this year there were 85 remand prisoners, 77 males and eight females, and 134 sentenced prisoners, 129 males and five females. The total number of prisoners at the AMC is 219, with 206 males and 13 females.

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