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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1949 ..

MR PARTON: Minister, what has been done with the feedback that you have received from constituents regarding maintenance? What has been done with that feedback and what changes have been made as a consequence of that feedback?

MS BERRY: I am not sure what feedback you are referring to, Mr Parton. Every time I get correspondence from anybody—whether it is a public housing tenant or members of the opposition or members of my own political party—that is provided to my office, I immediately follow up with Housing ACT and Programmed to ensure that tenants are being appropriately supported with their maintenance or with their housing needs.

Housing ACT—maintenance

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. The 2016 Auditor-General’s report entitled Maintenance of Public Housing revealed Housing ACT did not have sufficient oversight of the previous maintenance contractor Spotless’s quality control activities. Since then Programmed facilities management have taken over the contract for maintenance on Housing ACT properties. Given the high number of maintenance complaints it is apparent that the same issues continue to playing public housing residents. Minister, five years on from that Auditor-General’s report why is there no significant improvement?

MS BERRY: I think Ms Lawder is referring to the Spotless total facilities management prior to Programmed, who is now doing that contract. There actually have been significant changes in how the contract and how that program is being delivered across Housing ACT properties. It should be acknowledged that Housing ACT manages a portfolio of around 11,700 properties, with a value of over $5.4  billion as at 30 June 2020. Housing ACT spent $52 million on repairs and upgrades to its portfolio through the Total Facilities Management provider. This is in excess of 77,000 work orders, including 783 upgrades to properties. Those upgrades include 99 kitchens, 141 bathrooms and laundries, 295 floor coverings and 248 internal and external painting jobs—

Mrs Jones: A point of order, Madam Speaker, on relevance. The question asked was why there has not been an improvement. I understand the minister is giving important information, but by comparison to the previous contractor is the question.

MADAM SPEAKER: Minister, you might be able to get to that point, but I think your response is in order, to date.

MS BERRY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Of course there are improvements in the project management. That was why we changed the contract from Spotless to Programmed—to ensure we could apply those changes to the system, to ensure that we have a strong and effective governance system within that performance management project. Notwithstanding all of the achievements that we have made, the audit that was done has identified some aspects of management that can be improved. Like any large contract the ACT government holds, we are always committed to making sure we improve, particularly for those people in our community that need that support most.

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