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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2149 ..


Report on Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 5 of 1998 - Government Response

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (3.04): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the Government's response to the Standing Committee for the Chief Minister's Portfolio Report No. 15, entitled "Review of the Auditor-General's Report No. 5, 1998 - Management of Housing Assistance", which was presented to the Assembly on 11 March 1999. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Mr Speaker, I seek leave to have my presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

I welcome the opportunity to respond to the Standing Committee's Review of the Auditor-General's Report No. 5 on Management of Housing Assistance, which was tabled on 11 March 1999.

The ACT Auditor General's Report No 5 of 1998 on Management of Housing Assistance was tabled in the Assembly on 27 October 1998. In providing detailed input to the Standing Committee's review of the Auditor-General's report the Government stressed the substantial reforms it had already introduced and the comprehensive review processes under way to ensure that housing assistance is not only provided efficiently and effectively, but also equitably.

The Committee acknowledged that many of the issues raised by the Auditor-General in his report had already been addressed by the Government or were already under review. However, the Committee's recommendations (in paragraph 5.1) sought information on the outcomes of the review processes that were in place into various

aspects of housing assistance.

The Government response that I have tabled today outlines the measures that have been introduced in the 1999-2000 Budget to reform housing assistance in the ACT. These primarily relate to the reform of tenure, eligibility, allocation and pricing and include:

� Simplification of eligibility arrangements for public housing so that an applicant who receives a pension or allowance of at least $1 from Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs (other than the minimum rate of Family Allowance) will be eligible to seek public housing;

� introduction of new pricing arrangements in which all residents of public housing will contribute towards the rent of the property they occupy at the same general rate of 25% of income;

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