Page 591 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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Vehicle fleet operations

MR QUINLAN: Yesterday, I took a question from Mr Mulcahy in relation to the financing of government vehicle fleet operations. I can advise that the situation is still being reviewed, that the situation is still being worked through. If we have one financier wanting to drop out, the first thing we have to ask is whether there are other financiers still in the game or whether it is an area that merchant banks collectively are pulling away from.

We are aware that in recent days a number of jurisdictions around Australia have implemented self-funded or in-house financing arrangements for their fleet management. We will consider all options, as I think I said in the answer to the supplementary question. We will also consider the possible use of the government enterprise, Rhodium, within the panel of possible replacements for the current financial arrangement. But there does not seem to be any haste or panic. I have not had people from Treasury knocking down my door and saying that the sky is falling.


MR HARGREAVES: Yesterday, Mrs Burke asked what process tenants must go through to purchase ACT Housing property, public housing property, in which they reside. Housing ACT tenants of more than five years continuous tenancy currently living in a separately titled property are able to apply for purchase of the property they are living in.

Consistent with the government’s policies of security of tenure, sustainable tenancies and sustainable communities, the government encourages tenants who can afford to purchase to do so. Purchasing a house where the tenant is already living has financial and community advantages because the tenant does not have to organise to move, pay for reconnection of utilities or change schooling arrangements for children.

However, it is important that the scheme not impair the department’s ability to house people in need. Accordingly, the government proceeds with sales only where properties are not needed for redevelopment or other needs, because tenants who can afford to buy have the same options as anyone else in the private market.

Similarly, properties are sold at market value, determined for the property by an independent valuer on the basis of sales of comparable properties in the same or adjacent suburbs in the past three months. The price may be reduced if the valuer assesses that some part of the property’s value reflects improvements—for example curtains or painting—carried out by the tenant, or increased if there has been major maintenance on the property in the last three years and the cost is greater than the increase in the market value.

Except for properties rebuilt after the 18 January 2003 bushfire, newly constructed or purchased properties are not available for sale until at least five years after they are acquired. These arrangements are designed to recognise the significant costs in acquiring and disposing of properties and to ensure that newer, high-quality assets are retained for ongoing clients.

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