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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (20 April) . . Page.. 979 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Mr Wood asked a question on notice that revealed there were 538 houses untenanted at the end of February. There are a number of reasons for that. Some are being processed after becoming vacant. They are normally returned to stock within two weeks. Others, however, are awaiting conversion, possibly sale, demolition or redevelopment upgrade or are on offer to Community Housing Canberra. We will continue to monitor the stock and use the stock as appropriately as we can.

MR WOOD: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Would it have been a help in maintaining the stock if the first Carnell Government had not ripped millions of dollars out of its maintenance funds?

MR SMYTH: That is simply speculation on Mr Wood's part. The Productivity Commission says quite clearly that our problem is the age of the stock. The ACT Government inherited from the Federal Government stock older than any other public housing stock in the country. The average age around the country is some 20 years. We are the youngest city in the country but we have the oldest public housing stock, with an average age of some 25 years. Fifteen per cent of the stock is over 40 years old. We have a problem with the age and then we have a problem with the type of stock and a mismatch to the sort of accommodation tenants need and where they want it. This Government is addressing those needs.


MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for sport. At a meeting between the Minister and representatives of the Tuggeranong Australian Football Club at Gordon Oval this week, at which the Minister and I were present, officers of his department advised the group who were milling around while the Minister was slightly absent, for reasons we will keep amongst ourselves, that from about June this year at least three enclosed ovals will be withdrawn from general use to be made available to SOCOG for Olympic training purposes. Can the Minister confirm that the withdrawal will in fact take place? Can he advise the Assembly which ovals are involved and which sports are affected?

MR STEFANIAK: That is a good question, Mr Hargreaves. If that occurred, I was not there. I believe I was having a comfort stop at that time - probably the wrong time to do it. If that is the case, I understand that there may well be some requirement for SOCOG to use a number of the enclosed ovals for training. I would have to get back to you on exactly what ovals and exactly when they would be required. I think they have indicated a requirement to utilise some enclosed ovals outside of Bruce for training purposes. I will get you what details the bureau has and keep you up to date if there is nothing definite at this point.

MR HARGREAVES: I ask a supplementary question. Thank you, Minister, for that undertaking. You will probably have to do the same thing with the supplementary question. Can the Minister advise the Assembly how long the ovals will be withdrawn from local use, whether affected local sporting organisations were consulted and what alternatives are proposed for those organisations?

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