Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2600 ..
MS FOLLETT: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Two days later, Minister, you were quoted, again in the Canberra Times, on the question of the sell-off of public housing. On this occasion you said that the ACT Government would not flood the market with a public housing fire sale. My question is: Exactly how many houses do you plan to sell, and how many would, in fact, constitute a fire sale?
MR STEFANIAK: As Ms Follett is no doubt aware from reports in the media, that has been blown up from "We are selling all of our public housing stock" to "Just a sensible sale of stock over a period of time".
Ms Follett: Put the record straight. How many are you selling? Now is your chance.
MR STEFANIAK: Ms Follett, I think I can tell you that in relation to this financial year, which is about as far out as we go, we are looking at building about 200 new properties, as the Chief Minister indicated, and we are certainly not considering selling any more than that. Indeed, it may well be a little less. In terms of outyears, Ms Follett, that is something that has to be worked out over a period of time. I have already indicated to you the nature of the philosophy between the new Commonwealth housing - - -
Ms McRae: We will count them. Watch out if you have it wrong. If it is 205 you will be in trouble.
MR SPEAKER: Order! You will have a chance in a moment, Ms McRae.
MR STEFANIAK: "About", Ms McRae. Get it right. In outyears, though, that is something we have to assess. It would be utterly pointless and, I think, totally impractical and quite wrong for huge numbers of houses to be put on the market in any one year. It is something that has to be carefully worked out in conjunction with the new agreement and how that agreement works. What the new agreement does, though, is give the flexibility for that. As you must realise, Ms Follett, we do have a fair amount of inappropriate stock, the three-bedroom houses, and some stock that is unusable and very difficult to let. There are some opportunities in terms of our being able to sell some inappropriate stock. We will always have a need, as far as I can see, to build new stock as well, to build different types of stock more appropriate to our tenants' needs. I think that situation will continue into the foreseeable future.
MR KAINE: I have a question for the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, I have been reading in the media lately about - - -
Mr De Domenico: A lot of newspaper reading has been going on.
MR KAINE: Yes, I can read. I have been reading some information about an agreement that you signed with Unisys relating to the year 2000 problem, or the millennium problem. I prefer the term "millennium problem", frankly; it sounds more ominous and more