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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3172 ..


The focus of the Canberra Liberals only on detached housing is a bit of a slap in the face to the many Canberrans who want to live in an apartment or townhouse. During our recent estimates hearings, Mr Parton appeared to refer to those who do not have a single dwelling house as the “have-nots”. This attitude towards Canberrans who have chosen to live in an apartment or townhouse says a lot about the Canberra Liberals and their values.

Canberrans who have chosen to buy a unit, whether as a first home, as the right option for their lifestyle, or as a downsizing option, are certainly not have-nots. People are choosing to live in apartments and townhouses for positive reasons, and it is not a last resort. For example, apartments and townhouses are more environmentally sustainable. There can be lower maintenance costs. It can allow you to live right in the centre of the action, close to shops, services and entertainment. Families with busy working parents do not always have the time to be able to maintain a backyard. On top of that, our demographic data shows that our household sizes are shrinking, and more people live in lone-person households.

We need housing choices to cater for all Canberrans. We, as representatives, should have sufficient respect for the people who have elected us to represent them to understand that Canberrans have a range of different needs at different times in their lives. There is absolutely a role for single detached housing in Canberra’s property mix, and we have a sustainable amount of established detached housing. We continue to add single detached housing through the ILRP. However, we are also adding other options.

I note, as the Deputy Chief Minister remarked, that the Indicative Land Release Program represents less than two per cent of the ACT’s total established housing market. Nonetheless the ILRP continues to provide housing supply well above projected population growth. Housing supply is just one factor affecting our property market. We will keep setting an ILRP that meets the needs of our growing and changing community, and that does so in a way that is sustainable and offers a variety of choices for Canberrans.

I will reflect on some of Mr Cain’s comments about the levels of ILRP representation regarding single dwellings, detached dwellings and apartments across the ACT. He said there is some sort of cover-up; he cannot find the numbers. They are published in the ILRP. It is not the government’s fault that Mr Cain cannot use Google.

It is clear today that the Liberals remain committed to urban sprawl, and to bulldozing the bush capital.

Members interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Pettersson): The member will be heard in silence.

MR GENTLEMAN: It is clear that Mr Parton wants his developer mates to get their hands on land to the west of Murrumbidgee, as we have heard, and Kowen Forest as well. Unlike the Canberra Liberals, we want to provide high-quality living while


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