Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 April 2008) . . Page.. 880 ..
should help many who are now renting to buy a property for the first time. The idea of being able to rent a land component in a development is innovative. Shared equity schemes are likewise a progressive move. I have been pushing for this since 2002, because it allows the potential purchaser to buy a share in a property with an organisation and ultimately buy out the other party.
The notion of encouraging developers to build up to 400 dwellings for rental for a period of four to five years also has merit, but we have yet to see the detail, and the devil is often in the detail. On the face of it, the proposal to expand community housing looks good, but the government has done nothing to expand community housing significantly since it came into office six years ago. The Liberals initiated the idea of 1,000 properties being run by community housing in 1997. The number of community housing properties has remained static since 2001 under this government. The proposal to add 1,100 properties will take 10 years to roll out.
The Chief Minister still refuses to accept that his government’s property taxes and charges play a major part in making housing unaffordable. However, the Property Council has stated that government taxes and charges account for no less than 25 per cent of the cost of a new home in the ACT. On average, this equates to $108,011 when purchasing a $425,500 home.
In conclusion, the Chief Minister also continues to ignore the disincentive of his government’s land tax regime on investment in residential property in the ACT. This is a much more restrictive regime than in the states. The evidence from the real estate industry is that investors, who are mostly mum and dad investors, are put off by this government’s property taxes.
The lack of housing affordability is the result of abysmal management by Labor governments at state and territory level over 10 years, and this is despite years of booming revenues. It is time that the people of Australia, particularly the people of Canberra, woke up and understood that. This government has failed to actually look after and enable more people to buy their own homes and has failed to create a position where young people can have that dream. It will require a government to take action for that to occur. So far we have not seen too much of that. I hope that by moving this matter of public importance today we will see the Chief Minister respond. Let us hope he has some answers on this matter.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (4.21): There is something richly ironic about the Liberal Party lecturing anyone on housing affordability. The biggest barrier to affordability by a country mile, as those opposite well know, is the Liberal Howard legacy of interest rate rises—rises that have added $367 a month, month after month after month, to the household bills of ordinary Canberrans. The interest rate rises bequeathed to us by the Liberals are adding $367 a month to a standard ACT mortgage. The Liberal Party interest rate rises are a direct response to their economic mismanagement and fly in the face of promises that they made when they were last elected. They have added $110,000 to the mortgage burden of ordinary Canberrans—the young families that the Liberals pretend to defend and represent—over the life of a loan.