Page 1789 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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“(8) add the following new paragraph:

‘(7) that the Minister consult with community groups and housing industry representatives as part of the process of developing his report.’ ”.

Ordered that the question be divided.

Amendment No 1.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.02): With the agreement of my colleagues, to save the Assembly an enormous amount of time, I will comment on Dr Foskey’s amendments and the amendments I have moved myself. I understand what Dr Foskey has said. I have no difficulty with her first amendment, which puts a time limit on reporting. I am delighted to have that included as an amendment to my own amendment. So I signal the government’s support for that particular amendment.

However, the government will not be supporting the other two amendments. We do not support the implementation plan because we have been down this track before. As I mentioned in my original speech, the government has agreed to 33 recommendations, with nine being agreed to in principle and four noted for further investigation by the affordable housing task force. An interdepartmental committee on affordable housing is overseeing the implementation of the government’s response. The government’s response to the affordable housing task force is the implementation plan.

The interdepartmental committee, as I mentioned before, regularly engages with key stakeholders in the housing sector, such as ACT Shelter, the Housing Industry Association and the Master Builders Association, as well as through industry briefings conducted by the LDA. I also indicated that we have formal discussions with those affected. The two that we embarked on recently were about tenancies, involving people who were affected by the tenancy regime in the town. That included industry and sector representatives. It also included people paying rent. So we are engaging with people in that sector.

I do not propose to put another layer into this. There is just too much talk and not enough action. Dr Foskey’s amendments include an implementation plan. Well, I have dealt with that. We are not going to support that. A further amendment would require the minister to “consult with community groups and housing industry representatives as part of the process of developing his report”. We do anyway.

I have already indicated that the interdepartmental committee talks to the industry groups. When we talked to the people here in the reception room the other day, community groups and industry representatives were there. I have had chats with the HIA on a range of issues. I have signalled my intention in public a number of times that we will get away from actual home ownership and into rental so that we can talk about it holistically. I have no difficulty with the chamber saying to me, “Tell us where you’re at, minister”, or, if that is not good enough, giving me a smack on the bottom and saying,

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