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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (10 March) . . Page.. 509 ..



Our applicants are increasingly hoping to be located near their extended families and support networks, and these are not always in the inner north. We need to recognise the importance of these support networks and try, where possible, to locate people where they want to be located. A good example of this is the recent announcement of the redevelopment of Macpherson Court.

Macpherson Court actually highlights quite perfectly the strategies we are adopting to combat a number of the problems identified by the Productivity Commission. For a start, we are moving away from a type of housing that no longer meets our clients' needs. We are moving away from the traditional big flats strategy to better integrate public housing with the broader community. While our problems have not been to the same extent as associated with those, say, in Sydney or Melbourne, like Collingwood, Fitzroy and Redfern, this standard of housing has led to some social problems.

We are also moving to transfer the site to the community sector. I said earlier that we have one of the lowest levels of choice for public housing tenants, whether as the public provider or a community housing provider. By transferring stock to the community sector, we will be providing our tenants with a greater number of options in public housing.

Mr Berry: I raise a point of order. One accepts that Ministers might give complete answers to questions, but this is beyond the pale. This is a supplementary to a question and it really has developed into a ministerial statement. It is becoming a bit repetitious as well. I do not mind full and complete answers, but this is a bit over the top.

MR SMYTH: I do not believe I have repeated myself at all.

Mr Hird: I am listening to the answer.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I was responding in the Berry manner. I believe his answers took considerable time.

MR SPEAKER: There is a problem.

Mr Hird: Do not let it put you off. I want to know the answer.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I will be brief. I am almost finished. The redevelopment of Macpherson Court also demonstrates our approach to relocating the tenants and to meeting their needs. To date more than half of the tenants in Macpherson Court have accepted other housing arrangements, all, I am told, within their area of choice. Many tenants have chosen to remain in the city area, but some have gone to Belconnen and some have gone as far afield as Tuggeranong. I think members might remember the gentleman shown on the front cover of one of the newspapers who said it would take 100 cops to move him. He was one of the first to choose his site and he has a delightful flat in a new area. Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of its responsibilities in regard to public housing and we will continue to move to meet the needs of tenants as we can.

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