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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 953 ..


properties per investment, so we are looking at big, big investments to expand Canberra’s rental properties. We have about 40,000 dwellings rented in this city out of 180,000, so between one in five and one in four properties are rental. What we need to see is hundreds and hundreds more, and that will be delivered most efficiently and permanently as build-to-rent products and permanently in the rental market through this larger-scale model. That is what we are pursuing.

MR PARTON: I have a supplementary question. Chief Minister, given that the build-to-rent dwellings would be many months if not years away, what immediate action will your government take to help vulnerable Canberrans find a home during this rental crisis?

MR BARR: We are already augmenting supply through a range of projects, in public, in community and in social housing, as well as a range of tax incentives that have been debated in this place. People would be aware that I have recently extended the number of properties that are eligible for the tax-free status in terms of land tax if landlords will rent them at below market rent. So then we get the perfect test. We are going to get the perfect test of whether taxation is barrier, because if you want to pay no land tax you can do that, you just have to rent your property at below market rent. So if tax is the barrier, we’re about to find out, and we should be swamped. But we haven’t been to date, and I don’t think we will be, because tax is not the barrier.

Planning—Gungahlin town centre

MR BRADDOCK: My question is to the minister for planning. Minister, why has land zoned for community facilities in Gungahlin been cut in draft variation 364 from six hectares to 3.8 hectares?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Braddock for his question. It is important to reflect, of course, on the work that has been done on planning for the Gungahlin town centre and the demand for different styles of residential in that area. What we have done in draft variation 364 is to look at refreshing the town centre plan and to see what we can do for the residents of Gungahlin into the future.

Of course, that variation, while having interim effect, is sitting with the committee at the moment. I will be looking to see what the planning committee does, the inquiry it holds and the recommendations it makes, to see whether we need to modify 364.

MR BRADDOCK: Why does draft variation 364 propose to cut community facility zoned land when the Gungahlin community recreation needs study is currently underway?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I said, we have done the initial work. The planning committee is doing their work as well. I will certainly look at the commentary that occurs through their inquiry. We have looked overall at the mix of land that is needed for Gungahlin. There has been some request for more commercial land, for example, and more residential land as well. We need to apply the appropriate densities and facility land that could be available for the future of Gungahlin.


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