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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 1266 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

people, and at times as people with particular needs, not just as people who pay the rent. This is in contrast to the previous government's attitude, which was more about bricks and mortar.

There is currently a shortage of appropriate and affordable accommodation in the ACT, and this has been exacerbated by the recent bushfires. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that there will be an injection of additional funds from the Commonwealth for housing for people on low to moderate incomes.

While we recognise that there is a high level of demand for public and community housing in Tuggeranong, the Greens would not accept that this demand would be met by reducing funding in other areas of Canberra. I strongly suspect in the current economic climate that this is what would occur.

The Select Committee on the Role of Public Housing, in March 2000, commented that it was concerned about the lack of availability of single-person accommodation, because many of the one-bedroom units and bed-sits which were then, as they still are, concentrated in multiunit complexes were being upgraded or demolished. That is still a serious issue. We are still losing single-person dwellings as a result of the upgrades and changes to some of the multiunit complexes. That has had a severe impact in the community that has been well documented by the community service agencies working with people in crisis-emergency services, refuges, services for people who are homeless and so on. We need to have a strong consciousness about those issues still. We have not dealt with that problem since March 2000. While I acknowledge that it is good to see the work done in Tuggeranong, it cannot be at the expense of the rest of Canberra.

We need to remain aware of the problems for single people particularly but also for families in Canberra who are not able to access secure, stable, affordable housing. The government often says that this is a huge cost. I do not disagree with that. I understand it is a huge cost. I am concerned that we have not seen built into private developments much more affordable housing.

We cannot expect the government, neglected as it is by the federal government, to find the millions of dollars that are necessary. We certainly want housing as a priority in any budget decisions. I will continue to make that point to government. Mr Wood acknowledges this need and appreciates the issue being raised by members of the Assembly and people in the community. But the problem I still have-and maybe it is Mr Corbell's area-is that affordable housing is not being structured into private developments. We had an opportunity to do it. We lost opportunities from Kingston foreshore to the recent major developments in the city. I wish the government would pick that up in a more proactive way.

The affordable housing task force came up with a position on this. We will be debating that tomorrow. But it is much too vague and general, and the government's response to the task force's report has not appeared yet. Once again, I see that as a lost opportunity. We have been raising this issue for so long. We were told, "Hold on. Just wait. There is going to be an affordable housing task force."That has happened, but we are still waiting to see anything concrete come out of it. The government says that we will see something in the budget, but that is not good enough .

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