Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 30 June 2005) . . Page.. 2549 ..
check, as I should have, before I came into the chamber. When I went out one of my staff members said, “While you were away the time-out room has reopened.” I want to put it on the record that I made the mistake of not checking, and I have come here to put that right. It is my understanding that the time-out room has been opened. There are still some concerns about it, and I wanted to demonstrate to members how you should behave when you make a mistake in the chamber.
Mr Stanhope: You lied to us yesterday and you will do again.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
Mrs Dunne: Mr Stanhope just said in interjection that I lied to you yesterday. I would like that withdrawn.
MR SPEAKER: Withdraw it, Chief Minister.
Mr Stanhope: I withdraw it.
Paper and statement by minister
MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.24): For the information of members, I present a report on affordable housing in the ACT. I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, today I am pleased to table the report Progress on affordable housing in the ACT. Over recent years, the ACT, along with other Australian states and territories, has experienced a dramatic decline in housing affordability. Last month I undertook to provide the Assembly with a comprehensive update of the actions being taken by this government to address this multifaceted issue. Members are quite rightly concerned at the impact housing affordability is having on moderate to low-income earners. Stable, secure and affordable housing is, after all, essential to our personal wellbeing and the health of our community. Housing is more than bricks and mortar. It enables our participation in employment, education, social and recreational activities—the very things that make our lives fulfilling and rewarding. Housing contributes to our natural nesting instincts and our sense of community.
We were one of the first jurisdictions to acknowledge housing affordability as a major social issue. That required a dedicated government response. In February 2002, we established the affordable housing task force to make recommendations on the measures that could sensibly be taken to help ameliorate the housing stress being experienced by an estimated 3,000 households. I have to say that prior to 2002 any sort of policy approach to affordable housing was a policy vacuum. It took the courage of the first Stanhope government to say, “We will expose what we need to do and we will tackle it.” Prior to that, there was a policy vacuum.