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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 March 2018) . . Page.. 896 ..

people in our community who are struggling due to unaffordable housing and housing stress. This is what our new housing strategy will tackle. I thank Mr Pettersson again for bringing forward this motion on such an important issue in our community.

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (6.25), in reply: I thank all the members who contributed to this debate. Amongst the back and forth there is an underlying desire from all members in this place to make sure that every Canberran has a place to call home. Importantly, this government has done a lot, but there is still more to do. We are up for the job and we will not rest on our laurels. This government will continue to reform our tax system.

We will do this because it is the right thing to do and because it will make our housing more affordable. The removal of stamp duty and a broad transition to land tax will reduce speculative investment in our housing stock. Speculative investment in our housing stock does not make more jobs, does not make our community more productive; it simply inflates prices and allows for the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next.

I am still waiting with my fingers crossed that the federal government will take action on negative gearing. This blight on our tax system quite simply drives up the price of housing in Canberra. I mentioned some numbers before and I will mention them again. They are important numbers. If we compare the stamp duty paid on a $300,000 house in 2011 to 2017, a homebuyer will pay 45 per cent less stamp duty. That is less money being borrowed from the bank, and that is a good thing.

One of the things I find puzzling about this place and ACT politics on the whole is that the Canberra Liberals always undermine this tax reform process. They are happy to run a scare campaign, but it seems they are just not serious enough to actually read an economic textbook. When all of their interstate Liberal mates endorse what this government is doing, they refuse to do so.

Madam Speaker, this government will continue to release land for new homes in our city and we will continue to release land for affordable homes. In the past 10 years we have released 37,000 dwelling sites. Of these, 2,000 sites have been dedicated to affordable homes for purchase at predetermined rates. We have seen incredible growth in our city in recent times. Just last year we welcomed a further 7,000 people into our city. It is expected that our population will hit half a million by 2030.

This is exciting for our city, but not all of these Canberrans will want to make the same housing choices as previous generations. As we build our suburbs, as we increase the density of our town centre, our city will change, and it will change for the better. We will continue to pursue affordable and diverse housing choices for the Canberrans of today and the Canberrans of the future.

The other thing I found particularly strange about Mr Coe’s contribution to the debate was his insistence that greenfield development is the solution to housing affordability. I wonder what the Canberra Liberals will have to say about housing affordability if we ever reach a place where there is no greenfield development available.

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