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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1297 ..


My motion is not at odds with the parliamentary agreement; it is entirely in line with it. This is not an either/or argument and I reject that framing. It is possible to do both—in fact, it is critical that we deliver the parliamentary and governing agreement for the people of Canberra so that we can do both. I commend this motion to the Assembly.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (4.05): I want to speak to this motion and particularly draw attention to the delivery of housing, and affordable and public housing as well, in this term of this government. The government entered this term committed to more housing for Canberrans. And that is all housing, including affordable to purchase, including affordable rental and including public housing. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for houses and land has been staggering and went against all predictions across the country. The government is working really hard to meet that demand and to keep on making Canberra a great place to live.

It is important to refer to the parliamentary agreement of this Labor-Greens government and its commitment to more housing. In speaking to this motion, we all need to remember that. The parliamentary agreement says that we will increase the housing supply to meet increased demand; we will build 400 new public housing dwellings; we will build 600 more affordable rentals; and, finally, especially relevant to this motion, we will build at least 70 per cent of new housing within Canberra’s existing footprint.

These are ambitious commitments and they will require a lot of hard work over the term of this government by our public servants, by our community and by industry workers to meet that demand. To deliver on this, we are going to have to build houses in town centres and everywhere. This is the reality of a growing population and the growing need for homes that comes with it. It is also the reality that Canberrans value the environment, value the green space, and that means our focus must be on the existing urban footprint.

As Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, I am responsible for the Suburban Land Agency. That agency’s land release program is how we make more homes available and the upcoming auction in Gungahlin will result in 450 more homes. Seventy-six of these will be affordable homes and eight of them will be public housing homes. Without sales like these, we just simply cannot meet our commitments to the community. Wherever there is construction in someone’s neighbourhood, people are of course entitled to have something to say about that. The government values good consultation and we do engage, and we listen.

But in delivering these places, we need to ask people do they want to support the people who are most at risk in our city and ensure that there is more affordable and public housing. We need to do more of that, and we need to build now and we need to


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