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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5263 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

The reforms I announced then, and which are specified in this disallowable instrument amending the program, encompass:

removing the requirement for new public tenants to pay initial rent at the commencement of a tenancy when the costs of establishing their new home are already quite high;

reducing the minimum rent for rent rebate purposes from $20 to $5;

making additional provision to assist disadvantaged groups such as TPV holders, in line with the changes to the bonds program; and

easing the rent payment burdens for occupants of public housing who go into residential rehabilitation.

In addition to those changes, and consistent with one of the changes to the rental bonds program, we have also eased the ACT residence criteria under the program to include people who are enrolled to study at an ACT educational institution.

The government is determined to deliver on its commitment to tackle the causes and effects of homelessness head on-as is reflected by the recent release of the homeless strategy. The changes I announced on 18 November and which I table today assist this goal. These changes are positive and substantial examples of the government's strong commitment to tackling the essential task of easing the trauma of housing stress for those in need in this community.

I strongly commend to the Assembly these amendments to the public rental housing program and the rental bonds housing assistance program.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Mr Wood presented the following papers:

Subordinate Legislation (including explanatory statements unless otherwise stated)

Legislation Act, pursuant to section 64-

Health Act-Health-Determination of Interest Charge 2003-04 (No 1)-Disallowable Instrument DI2003-313 (LR, 2 December 2003).

Legislative Assembly (Members' Staff) Act-

Legislative Assembly (Members' Staff) Speaker's Salary Cap Determination 2003 (No 1)-Disallowable Instrument DI2003-315 (LR, 4 December 2003).

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