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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 February 2008) . . Page.. 46 ..

Affordable housing action plan

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Chief Minister. Can the Chief Minister advise the Assembly of the progress being made on the implementation of the affordable housing action plan?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Gentleman for giving me this additional opportunity today to expand on what is regarded throughout Australia as the best, most comprehensive and most visionary of any affordability strategy that has been developed and is in the process of being delivered by any government in Australia. I am always happy to talk about it, and I am very pleased to have this opportunity to expand on what we are doing and on some of our successes—and they are very considerable.

A key initiative in the housing affordability strategy was to accelerate the supply of affordable land to the market, and we have done that quite dramatically during this year. We anticipate that the government and the private sector will deliver 5,000 residential units in toto within the territory, and that is a very significant increase on what we had anticipated as recently as 18 months ago would be required during this year. We increased our contribution to that figure of 5,000 from 2,200 to 3,200, and we believe the private sector will deliver 1,800 units of accommodation in the same period.

We have introduced in globo land sales as a result of meeting the significant spike in demand to date—two in globo releases, each of which required that 15 per cent of land and house packages be priced between $200,000 and $300,000. The first of those involves the Village Building Company in a consortium at west Macgregor. It is quite impressive to go and see the progress that is being made at west Macgregor. The first houses in that estate are expected to be completed by June this year, and I very much look forward to this new housing estate being pursued. There are 700-plus blocks at west Macgregor. The second in globo release was purchased just before Christmas by CIC in a consortium and will deliver an additional 700 blocks in globo there.

We are in the process of reintroducing over-the-counter sales of affordable housing blocks. We are streamlining land releases and the planning approval process. Indeed, the only major review of planning in the territory, which commenced two years ago, is about to be brought to fruition and will have a significant impact and effect. We have expanded community housing, and I will go into that in a little more detail in a moment. We are making far more effective and targeted use and delivery of public housing in the territory. Indeed, quite recently, the ACT, through national benchmarking of the management of public housing, showed the most encouraging and significant improvements in service delivery and waiting times in relation to public housing.

We are encouraging institutional investors to increase the supply of private rental dwellings from 200 to 400. This is a new initiative that is not being pursued anywhere else in Australia. It is a partnership with the private sector to supply private rental accommodation in major estates. It has attracted significant interest from major institutional investors. We are still negotiating the detail of that but we are certainly

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