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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 1268 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Ms Tucker spoke about the affordable housing task force. I have a recollection that when I tabled the report here I said that I was not proposing to come back with a consolidated government response. There were lots of controversial issues in that. We wanted to get the best of every idea, but not everything was absolutely agreed. I am working away at all the components that initially sound most promising. I will respond to those. If I did not say it then, I will say it now that I am not proposing to come back with one government response to the task force.

I appreciate Mr Hargreaves' motion. We acknowledge the demand in Tuggeranong. It is often said that the highest demand is in Civic and the old Canberra area. That is not necessarily the case. There is a demand in Tuggeranong. I am speaking from memory here, so my figures might be a bit out of date, but the waiting list and demand in Tuggeranong are greater than in North Canberra. As Mr Hargreaves acknowledged, we need to continue to attend to that demand.

The government is keen to encourage the spread of public and community housing across the ACT. Ms Tucker and others, we take note of what you say about that. ACT Housing properties in the Tuggeranong area make up some 7 per cent of dwellings in the valley, compared with an average of 8 to 9 per cent for ACT Housing properties across the whole of the ACT. So perhaps you can see why there is a demand in Tuggeranong. These holdings include more than 1,980 houses and town houses, as well as some 130 older persons units for the greys. What did you call them, Mr Hargreaves?

Mr Hargreaves: The older and greyer.

MR WOOD: The older and greyer. I would think that is below the number that we ought to have. There are approximately 160 flats there. In addition, there are approximately 40 community housing dwellings.

Originally public housing in Tuggeranong was developed by the Commonwealth, as it was in many of the older suburbs. Recently, as policies have moved to a greater mix of public and private housing, properties have been purchased on the open market. As well as basic family housing, there has been a focus on housing for older people, which we must continue to move on. Eighteen properties were purchased in Kambah by the previous government. Let me acknowledge that. Mr Smyth would know of those properties in Kett Street. They are excellent properties. A further 34 properties in Calwell and Gordon are under construction. Mr Hargreaves, we are moving on that. These purchases will substantially increase older persons housing in Tuggeranong.

ACT Housing's purchases are driven by the time taken for applicants to be housed in particular areas. That is the reason for the focus on Tuggeranong. The current applicant list indicates a high level of interest in housing in Tuggeranong, with particular needs for two and four-bedroom or larger properties. These needs are being addressed through an acquisition program, along with a requirement for properties in new areas such as Banks, Gordon and Conder. Housing for larger families and groups is also a priority, with a total of 19 properties of four or more bedrooms being purchased since November 2001.

It is now more than 30 years since building commenced in Tuggeranong. This means that some ACT Housing properties are reaching the end of their economic lives. Since we came to government, 47 properties have been sold in the Tuggeranong area. Some

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