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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2891 ..


Suburban Land Agency—revenue

MR CAIN: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Canberra is experiencing an ongoing property boom with first homebuyers looking for a house and land being priced out of the market, yet the projected revenue for Suburban Land Agency land sales halved for this financial year. Given the restraints on land supply, the government not meeting its land release targets again and the high demand for house and land options, why is your government making the houses Canberrans overwhelmingly want unaffordable for so many?

MS BERRY: I do not agree with the premise of that question—that the government has responsibility for the price of a home in the ACT—a lot of that is driven by the market. The ACT government tries to do what it can to make sure we can release land in the ACT to meet the needs of all Canberrans. But releasing land is just one part of it, and the ACT government is only one part of the supply for housing and accommodation in the ACT, because the private sector also provides a number of housing and accommodation options.

The government’s indicative land release program identifies the spaces in the ACT where we are building homes, and we have that very important target of 70 per cent densification and 30 per cent greenfields to make sure we continue to be the city that everybody loves—the bush capital.

MR CAIN: Minister, why has the projected revenue for Suburban Land Agency land sales halved for this financial year?

MS BERRY: There are a number of reasons why that could be the case, and it has been unfortunately impacted by COVID-19. In fact, last year our predictions for land sales in the ACT were quite dire, and the Suburban Land Agency was predicting—and so was everyone else in the country—that land sales would plummet and people would not purchase houses. But they did. What we are seeing now is an increase. It seems that people are deciding to purchase homes rather than purchase cars or go on holiday, which is great for the ACT because the Suburban Land Agency is building fantastic suburbs all across our city where people want to live.

Our latest suburb in Whitlam at Molonglo is a very popular place, with its first residents moving in just over the last month. It is a really wonderful place to live and an example of how the Suburban Land Agency is working with the community to make sure we build homes in suburbs that people want to live in.

MR PARTON: Minister, why are you unable to deliver the blocks that you project year after year? How much more will we see the house prices soar in the ACT as a result?

MS BERRY: I have already explained a number of times in this place about our policy direction of moving towards 70 per cent densification and 30 per cent greenfield. The work that goes into making sure that greenfields are available for people to live in takes a number of years—land just does not become available for


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