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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2383 ..



service for women, and that the government's supported accommodation initiative is unlikely to be implemented in the form announced in the budget.

This is due to current moves by Mental Health ACT to allocate these funds according to its own priorities, rather than in accordance with the government's announcement. It is also likely to be implemented in a way that will further increase the gender bias regarding supported accommodation funding within Mental Health ACT.

What is needed, as in the Western Australian analysis, is action on all underlying causes of homelessness. It must be coordinated, targeted and done now. I share Shelter's hope that the people doing the work on homelessness will take the view that many homeless people are simply in need of secure and affordable housing, and that funds should be allocated for capital acquisition of housing.

While the Commonwealth component of funding has declined and will continue to decline for capital works, I note the government's media release today. It says:

While we welcome the longer five-year agreement, it will not provide enough funding to address the unmet housing needs of low income households in the ACT, nor will it provide the necessary capital funding to meet the high cost of rejuvenating our ageing public housing stock.

In the 2003-04 ACT Budget, the ACT Government has provided an additional $4.4 million to purchase properties destroyed by the recent bushfires. It also provided $3 million to expand community housing options and $13.2 million over four years to combat homelessness.

However, the component of funding for ACT Housing has also declined. The DV 200 variation includes a relaxation of the unit titling restrictions in suburban areas for supported housing. That is for affordable housing, as I understand it. This is something which can take effect immediately.

This government does show a greater commitment to housing, but there is a lot that could and should have been done already. I urge the government to do a gender analysis of its proposals for immediate expenditure for supported accommodation. I also urge the government to take seriously its commitment to work with the community housing sector in its reforms, and especially with regard to the proposal that Community Housing Canberra become the investment intermediary.


: I seek leave to speak once more on the housing line.

Leave granted.


: I have already covered many aspects with regard to the housing sector. However, I reiterate my total commitment to ensuring that all people in this territory have access to affordable public housing.

Mr Speaker, I would like to correct the minister on one matter. I never suggested the minister had ever said that people were second-class citizens. I said they simply felt like they were treated like second-class citizens when being dealt with by an often stressed, overworked department or members of that department.

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