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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 4571 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Similarly, while the minister explained that there are a lot of options open to it in terms of ensuring some a component of affordable housing in developments, it has failed to deliver. I note that in the spatial plan or the non-urban study-I cannot recall which it was-there is a commitment from government to ensure 20 per cent public housing in the Pearces Creek and Uriarra developments. That is obviously because they want to take into account the fact that communities who have been living there have a sense of community, have been living there for a long time, and most of them have been made homeless through the fires. So there is a capacity obviously to take leadership, show leadership, and make these things happen when the government wants to do so. We want to see that similarly applied across all other developments in Canberra.

It seems as though the government has chosen not to ensure that affordable or social housing is a part of the mix in regard to the Kingston foreshore, and that apparently is for commercial reasons. I think it is really important as a community to acknowledge the social benefit that comes from mixing public housing amongst other residential development. This social mix, which was certainly part of the original planning of Canberra, has been recognised as the one that delivers in the long term.

My final comment is that we want to see, as Mrs Burke reminded members and as I have said before, targets and timelines in any strategy because otherwise we have no capacity to keep government accountable to the claims that they make. I think that is especially important in this critical area of housing.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (11.28), in reply: Mr Speaker, I thank members for their contribution. Although the debate has been relatively short, I think it has been well considered and constructive, and I am pleased about that. There was a recognition that this is a particularly difficult area in which to move and in which to have an impact-certainly a significant impact.

I thank Ms Dundas for her comments that the approach of the government was positive and that most of the recommendations were accepted. Ms Dundas had some concerns about the practicality of some of the recommendations, particularly around partnerships and the public/private concept. Private sector involvement has long been sought. I speak to private sector people and they say, "Look, we turn out properties as economically as we can."I suppose in some instances, when you look at some of the properties, that might be true. Nevertheless, they are beyond the capacity of many people to afford.

Ms Dundas made the point, as did other members, that there is need for a capital injection, and that is not something that has been forthcoming for a very long time, I might say. From the time well before self-government, funds have been allocated through the Commonwealth-state housing agreement on the basis of a 2:1 Commonwealth/state contribution-something like $18 million to $7 million or $8 million. I acknowledge that there are some slight savings in the first year and then the amount grows as a result of indexation. But other than that agreement, there is no further injection of capital funds.

Ms Dundas made the point correctly that housing is now on the agenda. I think almost her first speech in the Assembly was about housing. Housing is also something that

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