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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3727 ..

MR CORBELL: As I have already pointed out, the key issue here is that it gives first home buyers, in particular, the opportunity to purchase land direct, without it being tied into a house and land package. Overwhelmingly, the positive feedback the government has received through the Gungahlin Development Authority is that people are pleased to be able to buy a block of land direct and not get all the off-cuts-all the bits left over after the deal has been done with builders. They can pick their block of land, have a chance to buy it themselves and then build the house of their choice. It is a positive initiative. I am amazed that the Liberal Party is not interested in giving people that sort of choice.

Kelvin Court

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Urban Services Minister. Minister, on 16 July this year, ACT Housing was notified in writing by the tenants of Kelvin Court, Phillip, that there was a smell of raw sewage in the complex. On 14 August, Transfield, the maintenance contractor, conducted an inspection but did not take any remedial action.

On 22 October, the tenants contacted the health department regarding the overflow of raw sewage in the complex. The health department then ordered ACT Housing to remove the sewage and contaminated soil, decontaminate the area, and conduct a thorough inspection of the sewerage system.

After a couple of token efforts by Transfield, the tenants again contacted the health department, which inspected the complex on 7 November. When they did so, they found a large build-up of sewage and a broken sewerage pipe. The health department ordered ACT Housing to fix the problem, which they did over the next two days. However, an amount of contaminated soil was left in the common areas, which has since been walked through the complex.

My question is, minister: why did it take 31/2 months for ACT Housing to fix a problem that posed a serious health threat-and why did the tenants have to resort to having the health department force ACT Housing to fix that problem?

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, I am unaware of that instance. It has not been brought to my attention. Three and a half months-if it is as you presented-is certainly too long for such attention to take. I will look at it and report back to you, Mr Stefaniak.

MR STEFANIAK: My question is: given that a large amount of contaminated soil has been tracked through the complex, will the minister assure the house that the complex will be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated-including steam-cleaning of the tenants' carpets?

MR WOOD: I will get a report from ACT Housing and inform you of what needs to be done. Whatever needs to be done will certainly be undertaken.

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