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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 960 ..

direct injection to live music venues and, with that, the live music community. The live music venues can apply for grants of at least $5,000 and up to $60,000. Up to 100 per cent of the funded amount can be spent on artists and the programming of artists as well as technicians, and 50 per cent of funding can be spent on the marketing and promotion of that. This fund will be available from 1 June to 30 November, sometimes a quieter time in Canberra, particularly in the dead of winter, so we really want to emphasise that marketing aspect of it, too, because we want people through the doors. We want new people through the doors of these live music venues.

This coincides with venues being able to apply to increase their capacity to have exemptions for what is currently in place with one person per 2 square metres. So for particular events, working with the office of the Chief Health Officer, venues can maximise or optimise these opportunities with this funding. We are working with MusicACT to do this, and MusicACT will be hosting an industry information session on 30 April at 4 pm at Sideway.

Housing ACT—vacant property

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. The Community Services Directorate 2019-20 annual report said that Housing ACT’s ongoing property costs, including maintenance, were significantly higher than its current revenue. Also, it was recently reported that 403 public housing properties were sitting empty and that the public housing waiting list was almost 2,800 people. Minister, why have you allowed Housing ACT’s finances to deteriorate into this sorry state?

MS BERRY: Ms Lawder has the question wrong with regard to housing expenditure last year. As a result of a number of things that happened last year—COVID was one of them; a hailstorm was another—maintenance costs increased last year. So, what Housing ACT, with its total facilities management program, was doing, was responding to the needs of tenants. That is appropriate.

MS LAWDER: I have a supplementary question. Minister, of the reported 403 public housing properties that were vacant, how many were vacant due to lack of maintenance and maintenance funding?

MS BERRY: Of the 400 properties that were vacant, 65 are ready for allocation to tenants. So they are going through the process of being allocated to tenants who might be eligible, making sure that those housing properties meet the needs of each of those individual people. Of the 400 properties, 117 are receiving significant maintenance—things like new kitchen upgrades, bathrooms and the like—which means that some of those properties are not fit for purpose right now, but they are going through a maintenance program. There is another group of properties that are on the renewal or growth program for Housing ACT. They are either being prepared for sale or prepared to be demolished, with new homes built on those sites.

MR PARTON: I have a supplementary question. Minister, as of today, Wednesday, 21 April, how many public housing properties are vacant?

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