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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 17 November 2011) . . Page.. 5568 ..


Mr Coe and the Canberra Liberals also seem to think that social or public housing is not the answer. It is quite clear from those opposite that it is the policy of the Canberra Liberals when they were last in government—for example, back in those good old years from, I think, 1996 to 1997—I think on the sign off by Mr Smyth, but I could be mistaken on that—

Mr Smyth: You need to get your facts straight.

MS BURCH: I will refer to the question if you like. I will bring that question on notice down here. The Canberra Liberals, when they were last in government, sold off 1,116 properties. That is the Canberra Liberals’ policy on social housing. They flog it off. They flog it off. They boot out those that need our help.

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): Order, Mr Smyth!

MS BURCH: That is their policy position for those vulnerable Canberrans. When the Canberra Liberals were last in government they created a net loss of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of public housing properties. But also, the Canberra Liberals website lists their achievements when they were last in government. It is a riveting document. I look at their achievements under housing. Their great policy achievement under housing—this area ripe for policy development according to Mr Coe—was to build 200 old person’s units. You flog off 1,116 and you build 200. So this is certainly a policy free zone—clearly a policy free zone for the Canberra Liberals.

I have a final comment on the Greens’ residential bill, because it was brought into the conversation by Ms Bresnan. This bill does have the potential, on information provided to this chamber, to impact on Housing ACT to the value of $217 million. Ms Bresnan seems to criticise those costings. I would ask them, given that they intend to bring that bill into this place for debate, to provide the costings for that bill, because we know that there will be a financial impost to the community with that.

It is not to say that we should not do all we can with social housing properties to support security and energy efficiency, but let us be very clear that when you bring a bill into this place, you need to bring appropriate costings. We are supporting our social housing tenants, our public housing tenants, as we can. There is $4 million on the table for energy efficiencies, but all new properties now that we build will certainly be energy efficient and of high standards. The properties that we brought on line through the commonwealth stimulus package show that that is where we need to be.

I will end on the strong record of this government in promoting, supporting, maintaining and increasing public housing. I thank Dr Bourke for bringing the matter on for debate. I will commit and recommit again, as I have said here today, to bring the public housing management asset plan to this place by year end, but it is worth noting that while the Greens and Canberra Labor want to increase public housing stock, the last time the Canberra Liberals were on record, they diminished the stock. (Time expired.)


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