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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 247 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

In giving a higher priority to the minister's Housing Advisory Committee, I have asked them to review the recommendations of the Select Committee on Public Housing, examine the issue of affordable housing, consider the appropriateness of multi-unit properties and consider older persons accommodation options. Building on the work of the Housing Advisory Committee, the government will develop an affordable housing strategy.

In the election campaign, policies developed by me and Mr Corbell were proposed to overcome the problem that many in our community have in finding a house. We will continue to work together on this issue, with a cross-portfolio approach, taking into account work by the Poverty Task Group. We will draw upon the expertise of the minister's Housing Advisory Committee, and we will work with Planning and Land Management and the new planning authority, when it is established.

A priority of the former government-and a continuing priority-is to ensure that the public housing system is viable and accessible in relation to the increasingly diverse housing needs of residents in the ACT. Work will be undertaken over the next three months to investigate how public housing stock numbers might be maintained. Within the next three months, ACT Housing will be required to produce a comprehensive asset management strategy that must be inclusive of all of ACT Housing's $1.5 billion asset holdings, including its multi-unit site.

Community housing is now recognised as an important way to address housing needs. From the beginning of next year, a major focus will be the development of a strategic policy framework for community housing in the ACT. Issues to be addressed include appropriate financing options and sector development, as well as tenancy, property and regulatory issues. Other issues that will be progressed over the next six months are the renegotiation of the new Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement, the review and implementation of a trilateral agreement on indigenous housing and the development of policies regarding adaptable housing.

Environmentally sustainable transport will be a major focus of the Stanhope government. Mr Corbell will separately outline some of the major initiatives in the area of transport planning and public transport. In developing a comprehensive transport plan, the government will ensure that Canberra has adequate infrastructure to provide safe, efficient and environmentally friendly transport by both private and public means.

The government is committed to developing Canberra into a vibrant city with good regional and national links. A major commitment of the government is to investigate the upgrade of Majura Road to a four-lane highway to support the development of the Canberra Airport area as a transport hub. Early next year we will commence a feasibility study of this option, and $250,000 has been committed to support this work.

The development of alternative, environmentally friendly transport options for Canberra will be the focus of the government. To demonstrate our commitment to provide safe cycle routes we will commence the feasibility phase of the Downer to Woden bike link this financial year with $250,000 to undertake this work.

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