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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 4566 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

prices and the huge increase in government revenue that has flowed on from these price increases.

Yet again we see quarterly results for the territory showing property revenue exceeding projections. I know the Treasurer will say that this will not last forever and that the federal Treasurer has talked about the end to the property boom. But at the moment the government can afford to implement task force recommendations such as selling land more cheaply to affordable housing providers and providing tax concessions to affordable housing providers. These can be short-term, one-off recommendations that will see the revenue increase the government has had from property sales being put back into the housing market and supporting those who are not part of the property housing boom.

I hope that we will see in upcoming budgets greater implementation of the Affordable Housing Taskforce report.

MRS BURKE (11.10): The affordable housing issue has been raised recently in this house, so many of the points have been made. However, I would like to make a couple of comments. I think it would probably be worth while to restate the terms of reference relating to strategies for action set out for the government. Those terms of reference were:

  1. define the nature of affordable housing;
  2. identify the factors, extent and incidence of housing stress and lack of housing affordability overall within the ACT community;
  3. identify and assess opportunities and constraints for the development of affordable housing in the ACT;
  4. identify strategies used to increase housing affordability in other jurisdictions in Australia and overseas and assess their appropriateness in the ACT context; and
  5. develop broadly based strategies for increasing housing affordability, taking into account financial, land use, planning, taxation and other considerations, as well as the role of both the social and private housing sectors.

I have just a couple of comments on those terms of reference. Firstly, I would like to refer to the definition of affordable housing. We all know that, as this government report quite accurately says, stable, secure and affordable housing is a critical element in the lives of all people in our community. I find it rather challenging that we still continue to seem to have a system that does not empower people but crushes them. We seem to be working on very old principles, practices and policies that really need a good overhaul and review. I have said in this place before that that is not an easy task. Indeed, it is something that needs to be looked at more closely.

I know that the government has made efforts in some areas, albeit a rather scattergun, bandaid approach. These efforts are not really being directed at the areas of critical need. People should be the focus, not the process. We should not be process driven-we should be people oriented and people focused.

Housing is an essential contributor to building the strength of individual capacity. It is the foundation of community activity. Really, having a roof over your head is at the heart of stability, being able to contribute to a community, being valuable members of society, being made to feel worth while. I think while ever we can we need to ensure that those

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