Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3164 ..
disingenuous of the minister to speak of releasing numbers of dwellings when the vast majority of those are multi-unit dwellings. We need a clear picture of land that is allocated for detached homes and land that is released for unit dwellings. Citing thousands of pieces of land released to the community is covering up the fact that there is a gross disparity between the number of blocks of land available for detached housing and the number of allotments or units.
The government does decide how many new detached houses can be built and how much land is released for that purpose. It should not be using the coverall term of the number of “dwellings” released; it should give accurate figures of the detached numbers and the unit numbers. It is a cover-up. Again, it is ignoring the fact that we have a growing disparity between the median price of detached houses and units. It is taking housing choice away from the Canberra community. We need to know more from this minister. I support of Mr Parton’s unamended motion because we need to know how many townhouses and units can be built, the size of the blocks, the streetscapes and the community amenities.
There are many levers available to increase supply and choice in the market. So it is imperative that there is an independent review of the ACT Labor-Greens policy settings on housing and rental costs, which obviously are associated with the cost of land. I reject the amendment proposed by the minister and soundly support the motion from Mr Parton.
MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (4.03): I thank Mr Parton for presenting the motion today. It is always a fun day in the office when it is a Mr Parton motion, so I appreciate it! I also appreciate the opportunity to again reaffirm the ACT Greens’ position, which we have said for many, many years and which we said a lot during the election campaign—in fact, you were probably in the room a lot of the times when I said it, Mr Parton—we are in the midst of a housing affordability crisis.
The challenge for all people both in this place and in the machinations within their own respective political parties is to be honest about the range of policy settings that challenge housing affordability. I must say, if this is what the Canberra electorate is to expect from the new, moderated and reformed Canberra Liberals, there is an awful lot left wanting.
The infinite land supply the Canberra Liberals seem to want to promise as suggested in both of Mr Cain’s post-lunch presentations on the question, begs the obvious question—that is, if you are going to pretend that the solution for the housing affordability crisis is the infinite supply of land in a finite territory, you owe it to the Canberra community to be honest with them about what forest you are bulldozing and what beautiful natural green space you are doing away with.
We know from the last election that the previous leader of the opposition, Mr Coe, was very comfortable doing away with Kowen Forest. We know Senator Seselja is very comfortable with ruining the beautiful green space west of the Murrumbidgee in my electorate of Brindabella if it would mean more detached housing. We heard in Mr Parton’s remarks a desperate cry for a bygone era of the Menzies conservatism age where you buy a 90-square-metre house on a thousand-square-metre block for