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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 861 ..

in 10 households (29 per cent) were renting the dwellings (118 dwellings). The remainder (10 dwellings) were households living rent free as managers of community facilities or were tourist visitor households who lost their caravans in the bushfires. For the 118 householders renting their dwellings in the bushfire-affected areas, around half the dwellings were rented from private landlords, 62 dwellings were owned by the ACT government and two dwellings were rent free.

Based on interviews with these householders, the following major outcomes emerged. Over four in 10 of all bushfire-affected households intend to rebuild on the same block of land. Over one in 10 of the households affected intend to rent in the same suburb. Over two in 10 (24 per cent) are unsure but have indicated that they are likely to remain in the ACT. Ten per cent of households will rent elsewhere in Canberra. One per cent of households are keen to move out of the ACT and rent elsewhere. Six per cent of households intend to purchase or build elsewhere in the ACT. Two per cent of households intend to purchase or build elsewhere in Australia.

The second finding of the survey was that around half of the dwellings currently planned to be rebuilt may be larger in size than the original dwelling.

The third finding was that most householders currently have interim private dwelling arrangements, but around one 20th of all affected householders may require ACT Housing interim arrangements within the next 12 months.

The general conclusion to emerge is that 7 per cent of all bushfire-affected households (equating to 33 households) may require ACT Housing rental accommodation assistance at some time in the next three to 12 months once their current interim accommodation arrangements are extinguished.

Key finding 4 was that useful information sources to assist bushfire victims were identified, but further effort is required. The most useful and effective information sources in the minds of ACT bushfire victims have been the recovery centre, the Canberra Times and other print media, the Bovis Lend Lease seminars, and friends and colleagues.

Research also found that ACT Housing may be required to have up to 40 vacant dwellings available during the next 12 months to cater for bushfire-affected households requiring further interim housing accommodation arrangements once their current arrangements are extinguished. In addition, 17 households currently in ACT government housing believe their interim ACT Housing arrangements may need further extension.

I am very pleased to be able to inform the Assembly of the recommendations that arose from those key findings. The bushfire recovery task force had anticipated many of the issues. It had already acted on, or responded in part or in full to, the issues raised in all four recommendations. We are very mindful, for instance, of the need for clear and complete communications and the need to ensure that all of those affected by the fire are included very firmly within information loops. To that extent, we have developed a communications strategy which we are continuing to enhance and refine. Recently the bushfire recovery task force engaged the services of a private public relations firm to assist them in ensuring that our communications are as full as possible.

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