Page 4247 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2005

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emissions and affordable efficiency has delivered. People love living there. Couples who bought into the development are looking to buy larger units now that they have children. The value of the units has risen appreciably faster than surrounding or comparable property.

While the ACT government has rejected using its superannuation resources in this way, as it has rejected the notion of borrowing specifically for this purpose, perhaps by issuing bonds, I believe these ideas warrant much closer scrutiny. There are other ways of scaffolding people into home ownership. There are co-housing groups established which have the resources between them to create their own community of housing. I know of one that has won a community housing grant from the ACT in order to include people on very limited incomes into a collaborative housing model. Unfortunately, the last I heard, the LDA or ACTPLA had taken a year or two to sort out the paperwork for the land purchase and the community housing grant was in doubt. I am not sure, but discussions with Mr Corbell may have fixed that matter.

There has been a great deal of progress in thinking about ways of progressing affordable and social housing in our very different economic climate. It is not the same place as it was in the 1950s when we were trying to entice people to Canberra. We now have a commonwealth-state housing agreement that is subsidising rents more and more, rather than building houses. However, from the conversations that go on in this place about the topic, you would not know about this thinking. We should remember that the recommendations of the government’s affordable housing task force propose a strategy, but the progress report on affordable housing tabled in June this year shows that most of those recommendations have not yet been pursued.

I am looking forward to the housing summit. That may get us moving and may bring in some of the excellent research that groups like AHURI have been doing. This is a problem common to every city in Australia—not just the ACT—and we all need to work together. I have no doubt that there are many working in ACT Housing who would be very keen to lift the stock of affordable housing and improve the buildings that are running down but, so far, I have found that this government’s resistance to criticism and failure to consider other models I have proposed in this house is holding back solutions to the ACT’s affordable housing shortage.

I believe Mrs Burke has today indicated a willingness to pursue some of these ideas. We did not get into the specifics and I am waiting to hear about those. I am also waiting to see the Liberal Party’s policy on housing, which, I am sure, will be available soon. I am very pleased that Mrs Burke is reading and citing the sustainable cities report but I have yet to hear her make a commitment to the social mix we so value in our cities. However, I believe she has moved along and I look forward to working with both parties on increasing our supply of affordable housing.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (5.07): I move:

Omit the words “calls on”, substitute “notes the work of”.

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