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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3381 ..

MR STEFANIAK: You are quite right, Mr Hird. It is a very positive budget, and I think it has been well received by most people in the community. You are referring, I understand, to the Kick Start scheme for home buyers. The Kick Start housing program aims to assist ACT Housing tenants into home ownership and at the same time provide a significant stimulus to Canberra's residential construction industry. Kick Start is targeted at public housing tenants with a household income of less than $45,000 a year.

Under the scheme, approved applicants will receive a grant of $5,000. For the Greens' benefit, that is a grant, not a loan. I do not know whether they quite understand this scheme, so I will repeat that. They will receive a grant of $5,000 towards a deposit on a home. They will also receive a low-interest loan from either the St George Bank or the Advance Bank. These loans will be capped for 12 months at a rate of 6.95 per cent, and no application fee will be charged, saving applicants up to $750. A number of charges, including stamp duty, which averages about $2,000 per home in the ACT, will be waived, as will ACTEW's electricity connection charge; so there are some other great incentives there.

A total of 500 grants will be made each year for the next two years, bringing total funding for the scheme to $5m over two years. If you have a look at your budget papers, you will see $2.5m for this financial year. Kick Start should also have the effect of creating up to 1,000 public housing vacancies over that two-year period, which will benefit those currently on the waiting list; so it has that second benefit, Mr Hird, of reducing the waiting list. The building industry estimates that this scheme will generate jobs - they actually estimate that it might be in the vicinity of 800 to 1,000 jobs - by stimulating - - -

Ms McRae: It is nonsense.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Stefaniak is answering the question. If I cannot hear the answer, I therefore assume that nobody else can, and I may ask Mr Stefaniak to repeat his answer in full.

MR STEFANIAK: The building industry, not the Government, estimates that the scheme will generate 800 to 1,000 jobs by stimulating residential construction in Canberra. That is not our estimate; it is theirs. This Kick Start housing scheme is a very positive, innovative program. It is a great example of what can be achieved when both the public sector and the private sector get together and work out something for the benefit of the community.

Public Service Redundancies

MS McRAE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in Budget Paper No. 5, Jobs for Canberra, you state repeatedly that your priority is to create new jobs. Why, then, have you made provision for $12m for redundancies to get rid of more ACT Government workers?

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