Page 434 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 4 March 2008

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The government is currently in the process of engaging with key stakeholders to refresh and update the Canberra plan to maintain its currency and to reflect the important actions we have taken since 2004 to address critical issues such as housing affordability, water security, climate change and the skills shortage. As we talk today, we learn that, once again, interest rates have increased, placing greater pressure on those trying to achieve the great Australian dream of owning a home. The Reserve Bank has lifted its rates by 0.25 per cent to 7.25 per cent, increasing the official cash rate to the highest in almost 12 years, while Australian banks are expecting to add another 0.15 per cent to absorb higher loan funding costs.

The ACT government acted decisively last year to address this problem, significantly accelerating residential land releases through its revised land release strategy and developing Australia’s leading housing affordability strategy and action plan. The government is very proud of the fact that it can sit on the Council of Australian Governments working group on affordable housing and say that it has a visionary plan and it has begun to roll out the initiatives, including the en globo release at west Macgregor and the agreement with the Community Housing Canberra group.

All plans live and die in their implementation, and it is for that reason that the Chief Minister created an additional deputy chief executive position within his department with responsibility for overseeing the delivery of the affordable housing action plan and the accelerated land release program.

Mr Seselja: I thought it was because Simon stuffed everything up; isn’t that the reason?


MR GENTLEMAN: It is for that reason that the new Strategic Projects Facilitation Group has been created within the Chief Minister’s Department.

Mr Seselja: Wasn’t it because Simon stuffed things up?

Mr Smyth: It was apparently so—no en globo, now en globo.


MR GENTLEMAN: The group is charged with driving investment in major projects in the ACT, case managing the implementation of strategic investment opportunities and instigating new projects to address identified needs such as aged care accommodation. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I know Mr Smyth is not interested in hearing about the plans that the ACT government has in progress but we are going to roll them out anyway.

Through the reforms of the 2006-07 budget the government has also demonstrated its commitment to planning and acting to protect the economic future for all Canberrans—

Mr Smyth: Tell us what you really mean. Tell us about your plan.

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