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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 954 ..

MR DAVIS: Minister, why does DV364 cut office space from 100,000 square metres to 65,000 square metres?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Davis for his question. It does that, as I said, because we have looked at the study for Gungahlin previously as a refresh. We have looked at what might be needed for the future—with input, of course, from residents of Gungahlin and those that wish to operate or reside there in the future. It is a living document. While it has interim effect, it is before the committee, and I look forward to the committee’s recommendations.

Housing—new housing strategy

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, in a recent article a former Labor Chief Minister—

A member: Which one?

MR HANSON: It was Jon Stanhope—suggested your government has demolished people’s housing hopes by decisions taken to:

reduce the stock of public housing;

emasculate the community housing sector;

abandon any serious commitment to affordable housing

and to knowingly price the working class and low and moderate-income households out of the detached housing market.

He went on to say that your policies were contrary to core Labor values.

To make matters worse, residential housing availability is at a crisis point and the detached public housing stock appears to be declining. Minister, why have you let this situation happen?

MS BERRY: Of course Mr Stanhope is known for his views and for sharing them with the wider community. Whether or not I agree with those views is the question. I have not read the article so I will take Mr Hanson’s word for quoting Mr Stanhope’s views in this regard. But I would say that growing public housing is a Labor value and it is a value that is being met by this ACT government. We still retain the highest public housing per capita in the country.

We have had a significant growth and renewal program to date and that will continue over the next five years, with a $1 billion investment in public housing over this 10-year period—one of the highest in the country. We have said repeatedly in this place—the Chief Minister and I—that, if every state and territory across the country invested in the same way that the ACT government does in public housing renewal and growth, we would have significantly fewer people experiencing homelessness or rough sleeping across the whole country. This not something the ACT can do on its own.

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