Page 3940 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

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Housing affordability

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Minister for Planning and concerns the proposed residential estate in east Woden. The ACT Land Development Agency is now seeking partners to help it deliver an up-market resort-style all age development in east Woden, with built-in access to housekeeping, laundry, gardening, food, health, and security services, according to articles in the paper. Minister, could you please assure the Assembly that there will be room in this special new community for people with a disability, those living with a mental illness, and those for whom up-market accommodation is simply unaffordable?

MR CORBELL: This estate is at the conceptual stage at the moment, expressions of interest being sought from joint venture partners in the private sector for Woden east by the Land Development Agent. The intention is to provide for a range of ageing in place options and, obviously, accessibility of design. Therefore, providing for access by people with a disability, for example, will be a very important consideration. Equally, the Land Development Agency is very aware of and compliant with the government’s expectations in relation to the provision of affordable housing in any new development.

I cite for Dr Foskey’s information the work that we undertook in the only other joint venture which is currently occurring in the ACT, the joint venture for the new suburb of Forde, where a significant component of affordable housing is required as part of that joint venture approach. It is too early for me to anticipate the outcome of this expressions of interest process, because that will be followed by a formal tender process. However, I do expect that affordable housing provisions will be taken account of and assessed as part of the tender process for that site.

DR FOSKEY: I have a supplementary question on something that we come up against a lot with this kind of question. Minister, could you please advise the Assembly which minister has responsibility for ensuring that development across Canberra does include accommodation for people living in poverty and those with particular needs, seeing that these are cross-portfolio issues?

MR CORBELL: The government, as Dr Foskey well knows, does not have a particular mandated percentage of development that should be set aside for affordable housing. That said, we do expect of developments in which the government is directly involved, either through its own public estate development or through joint ventures, that a proportion of affordable housing will be provided. In that respect, I am the responsible minister for those issues.

Multicultural affairs

MR PRATT: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, why have you now formed a high level advisory group made up of local Muslims when your government has seen fit to disband the Ministerial Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs? Could MACMA not have established a Muslim advisory subcommittee to provide high-level advice through and with MACMA?

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