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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3247 ..


178 blocks were allocated for affordable housing. It appears that 12—or approximately 12—are allocated for Housing ACT and an inspection of the site suggests that these have already been built. We are advised that the remaining lots were tendered in 2019 and the results of that tender apparently remain unresolved. An inspection of Taylor stage 1B suggests that, apart from the Housing ACT dwellings, nothing has been built and there is no sign of construction. Chief Minister, given the shortage of land for detached dwellings in the ACT, given that over 7,000 people were in a ballot for Taylor land just this past weekend, and given the acute rental stress and growing demand for affordable housing, why have you failed those in need of affordable housing in Taylor?

MR BARR: I do not accept the premise of the question, but I will take the detail on notice. This is not my direct portfolio, so I do not have the information in relation to that particular land release. I will take the question on notice.

I make the general observation that those who solely view the housing affordability issue through the lens of supply-side solutions do not understand the economics of the housing market and do not understand the nature of superior goods in terms of people’s desire, as their income rises, to spend more on housing. I make the observation that, fuelled by a federal government economic stimulus program, we have seen hundreds of millions of dollars borrowed and, by way of government grants, invested in improving the housing stock in the ACT, making it bigger—already the biggest housing in Australia and the biggest in the world—and making it better. The result of that is the price increases.

It is a superior good, Madam Speaker. Go to economics textbooks, and understand that concept, and understand what has just occurred in this country, and why, combined with interest rates at the level they are and the favourable tax treatments, we have just poured hundreds of millions of dollars of public money into making housing more expensive.

MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, when will the results from that 2019 tender be resolved, and why has it taken so long?

MR BARR: I have taken that element of the question on notice.

MR CAIN: Chief Minister, when will the government release more detached housing blocks, particularly given that many Canberrans are moving interstate to buy land and build a detached house?

MR BARR: With respect to the second part, and the inference in Mr Cain’s supplementary question about people moving interstate, in fact more people are moving into the ACT. So the net inflow is in fact from New South Wales to the ACT, not the other way round. The data comprehensively addressed this fallacy that was raised by the former Leader of the Opposition at the last election. The ACT will continue to release more land, and that land release is outlined in the Indicative Land Release Program. It covers the next four-year period. Beyond that, the government has funded a range of planning and estate development work to see further greenfield


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