Page 4128 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2005

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many of the large government multiunit complexes are due for re-evaluation and that some of the properties could now be deemed to be close to the end of their economic life, have detailed Building Code of Australia, or BCA, compliance assessments been conducted of each of the 25 multiunit complexes in the ACT?

MR HARGREAVES: The last time I heard Mrs Burke whingeing about our multiunit complexes she was saying to use them for this, use them for that or use them for something else. The department is embarking on a program of examining all of our multiunit complexes to determine whole-of-life expectation and whole-of-life costs. In fact, that is why we have had success with the joint ventures at Fraser Court and Burnie Court. They are fantastic. It is also why we are not about to be having a fire sale and flogging off the Currong flats. We are engaging more closely with the industry to make sure that we get a good return there and we retain as much of that stock for public housing as we can possibly manage.

I think I know where Mrs Burke is heading. She is going to find an apartment in one of the blocks that she will allege does not meet building codes. We have a new maintenance regime. We have a $30 million contract out with one supplier and we are steadily working our way through all of our stock to make sure that it is as good and liveable as we like.

MRS BURKE: I have a supplementary question. Minister, if your department has endorsed and carried out detailed BCA compliance assessments of the sites, how many of the multiunit complexes have been found to have deficiencies in relation to structural maintenance or condition matters? What strategies exist for managing the long-term future of housing’s multiunit complexes?

MR HARGREAVES: It might surprise Mrs Burke to know, having had her shadow responsibilities for just over a year, that we have 11,500 properties and we have over 25,000 tenancies.

Mrs Burke: We are talking about 25 complexes.

MR HARGREAVES: If Mrs Burke knew the sheer scale of the responsibilities we have in public and community housing and if only she would put an orange, a mandarin or perhaps a grapefruit into her mouth and open her ears a bit she might be able to listen. I am getting tired of having to talk over the top of her, Mr Speaker.

Mr Pratt: Oh, the load upon your shoulders! Goodness!

MR HARGREAVES: When you are finished, Mr Pratt!

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt! That is a fair point.

MR HARGREAVES: Mrs Burke has asked a question of some incredible detail, not unlike the 30 or so questions on notice that we receive every time the Assembly sits. They go to such a level of detail that they keep an army of officers beavering away for hour upon hour. In fact, I think that there have been some poor people who, in the context of responding to the questions on notice from Mrs Burke and from her compadre in crime, Mr Pratt, have been born, lived their lives and died without seeing the outside

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