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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2598 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Yes, Mr Moore, there are still people waiting for maintenance, but that situation is improving. We have trialled a number of things in Housing since I have been Minister and since we have been in government. Two things have been trialled at Belconnen. One was basically ensuring that customers got better service and office procedures were improved. That has led to improvements in terms of maintenance. Another thing which is being trialled now, Mr Moore, and which will, hopefully again, assist in terms of things such as maintenance, is a housing officer being responsible for about 300 to 320 properties. They get to know the properties and they can be effectively a one-stop shop to deal with things such as tenancy matters and, indeed, issues of maintenance. I would expect that procedure - which I announced last week, I think, or the week before, and which is currently undergoing a three months trial - to prove quite effective and to assist in terms of addressing things such as maintenance.

MR MOORE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. How, then, is the loss of $10.4m going to assist in reducing the number on the waiting list from 4,000 and reduce the maintenance period from whatever it is that you still have not told us?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Moore, as the Chief Minister has stated, and I will state as well, the Government has a considerable building program. It is a renovation program; it is new houses; it is new units - about 200 new and renovated properties for our tenants. That is, I think, in anyone's book, a very substantial building program over the course of a financial year. As the Chief Minister has stated, it is also a better mix of housing. The demography of Canberra is changing and we find there is a much greater demand for one- and two-bedroom units and APUs. That, in itself, I think, will certainly assist in terms of providing more appropriate housing for our clients.

Public Housing - Sales

MS FOLLETT: I address a question to Mr Stefaniak in his capacity as Minister for Housing. Minister, I refer you to an article in the Canberra Times of 11 August 1996 which is headed, "ACT stands to reap millions from public housing sell-off". Minister, the article says, in part, that such a sale:

... provides the cash-poor ACT Government with a timely opportunity to sell some portion of the 12,000 housing properties without the current requirement under the agreement to reinvest proceeds into new housing.

Minister, will you give an unequivocal commitment that the proceeds of all sales of housing stock will be reinvested in new homes?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for the question, Mr Speaker. Under the current Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement, every time we sell a property we have to reinvest the proceeds in new homes. Model B is something which Brian Howe, the former Deputy Prime Minister and former Federal Minister for Housing, and hardly a member of the H.R. Nicholls Society, put forward at Housing Ministers conferences last year; it is very much a brainchild which emanated from his office. Model B is a more

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