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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1293 ..

lot of people simply cannot afford to pay the deposit for affordable home purchase, and we do not have enough affordable, secure long-term rentals for people unable to get into the small amount of public housing we have.

As I have discussed, the ACT does not have enough affordable housing for all of our residents. The Greens are therefore calling on the government to commit to stop reducing the amount of public housing, to maintain a minimum proportion of social housing, and to increase the supply of affordable rental housing. This is important because safe, secure and affordable housing enables good health and wellbeing, social inclusion, and human housing. I am absolutely sure that everybody in this Assembly would agree that that is something we all want and need.

As well as this, of course, social and affordable rental or non-rental housing promotes economic participation as well as the obvious benefits of being in stable housing that confer to participation in education and employment. Low and moderate income earners do not have a lot of discretionary income left after paying high housing costs. This means that any income they have left over is less likely to be spent on luxury items, which do not contribute to the local economy, such as expensive cars, expensive wine, overseas travel or, in fact, travel anywhere. It is much more likely to be spent on fresh food or at local small businesses. The lower housing costs are for these people, the more of their leftover income will be spent in the local economy, which is good for all business in the ACT.

Canberra can increase its social housing; we have done it before and we can do it again. It is a truism that no more land is being made. However, there is nothing stopping us from using a greater proportion of this valuable and finite resource to deliver an increased supply of social and affordable housing. Particularly given that the ACT is the biggest landowner in the ACT, this is a lever that we should be using more of, and I call upon the Suburban Land Agency to do just that.

Our motion also calls on the ACT government to provide the Assembly with a report about the ACT’s participation in the national housing and homelessness agreement, an agreement whereby we receive $24 a million a year from the federal government. The new agreement specifies that state and territory governments must have a housing strategy which indicates the level of housing supply needed to respond to projected housing demand and outlines the reforms and initiatives that contribute to meeting this need. My motion calls for this information to be made public, which will help everybody involved in housing in the ACT to plan for the future.

In conclusion, social and affordable housing is essential public infrastructure. Canberra’s population is rapidly increasing and so must our public housing, our social housing and our affordable housing. That is all we are asking for in this motion.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.35): This is, I am sure you would agree with me, a somewhat interesting motion, as most of them from Ms Le Couteur are. There is a lot in this space that I and Ms Le Couteur agree on, a hell of a lot. I think that probably the biggest difference we have in this space is that I am in opposition and Ms Le Couteur’s party is effectively in government. We all know that the Greens are perfectly capable of using their party processes and parliamentary agreement

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