Page 1794 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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I would like to detail some of the actions taken by the government, and these are substantial. The government has injected $33.2 million in additional funding for public and community housing, the largest single amount by any government since self-government. It has also injected $13 million for homeless initiatives. Measures implemented as a result of the work of the affordable housing task force include a commitment of a release of 500 affordable blocks of land over the next five years, the first of which was released in the moderate income land ballots held in December last year and again recently in April. We have just heard Mr Corbell saying that we are continuing to monitor the way that these are offered to the community.

There have been increased stamp duty concessions for first-home buyers, with further concessions linked to price movements in the market and the introduction of rental bond loans for low-income earners and incorporation in the City West master plan of a requirement to deliver affordable housing in five per cent of total residential development. I must say that, like Mr Hargreaves, I am somewhat confused about Dr Foskey’s statements about homelessness in this context.

There have been changes to the public rental housing assistance program which broadened eligibility, improved access for people at risk of homelessness, reduced minimum rent for those most in need and gave additional assistance to tenants to help them sustain their tenancies. Moreover, the ACT, along with other states, has called on the commonwealth government to take a lead role in the development of a national housing policy. In the meantime, under the provisions of the commonwealth-state housing agreement, housing ministers across all states and territories are working together to develop a strategy for joint action on housing affordability.

While reconvening the affordable housing taskforce is not supported, this government has a strong commitment to addressing declining levels of housing affordability. It does not do this in isolation. It will continue to implement its strategic approach to the provision of affordable housing while working in partnership with the building and development industry to investigate new affordable housing products. It does not need to spend scarce resources on reconvening the taskforce to do that. I believe that, in light of what the government is doing now, Dr Foskey’s second and third amendments are redundant. I am happy to support Mr Hargreaves’s amendment to this motion and also the reporting commitment that we have already undertaken to support.

Amendment No 1 agreed to.

Amendment No 2 negatived.

Amendment No 3 negatived.

Mr Hargreaves’s amendments, as amended, agreed to.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.26): It is a very interesting process when you bring a motion to this Assembly and you end up not even really having the opportunity to have that motion put. That is fine. That is democracy. It also a product of the government’s having the numbers in the house.

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