Page 2244 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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counterintuitive and counterproductive, and it will do nothing for housing affordability. It is a simple bandaid; it will drive up prices; it will push demand; it will achieve nothing; and it will be counter-productive.

By way of contrast, let me indicate how the land rent scheme will directly benefit those households on low to moderate incomes. Households purchasing a $280,000 house and land package would pay an estimated $518 a week in mortgage repayments. However, those costs would reduce to $313 a week under the land rent scheme, reducing the weekly housing cost by $200 per week—a massive reduction of over $10,000 a year in housing costs just in that particular scenario.

To put that into perspective, there would be something like an almost $9,000 increase in house prices from the opposition’s one and only policy—the stamp duty exemption policy. The government’s policy reduces the size of the mortgage—the debt—that households need to have to get a crown lease in perpetuity. The opposition’s one and only policy will actually increase the size of the mortgage for all those succeeding Canberrans—the ones that come after the first stamp duty exemption round.

As I said, this scheme is only one of a range of measures—one of 62—which we are actively implementing to improve housing affordability. It provides another choice—a very significant choice—for some families.

It is just stunning to me that the Liberal Party would seek to deny those people on incomes of less than $75,000 dreaming of owning their own home. In the words of Mr Seselja last night in the debate on the budget, he thinks that anybody in this particular circumstance should not have their own home; they should just rent. That is what he said last night: they should do the safe thing and rent; they should be renters for life. That is the view of Mr Seselja about young families with incomes under $75,000. His interpretation—his discussion; his final position—is that young Canberra families on incomes of under $75,000 should just content themselves with the rental market.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question.

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can the minister advise the Assembly about the interest shown so far in the government’s land rent scheme?

MR STANHOPE: There has been enormous interest in the scheme in the ACT community. The Land Development Agency had 20 inquiries yesterday. In the first day after the passage of the bill, there were 100 hits on the web page. That was on the first day, and the scheme has not yet been advertised. Those hits were pursued by people who simply saw media reports. They went to the web and they chased it down—100 hits. Without any advertising, any information about whom to contact, over 100 hits have already been made. Within the first day, there have been 20 direct inquires of the LDA and an additional 100 people.

The first information session at the CIT was a resounding success; it was booked out—once again, without any real active advertising. There are people on the waiting list for the next information session which will be held next Wednesday. As I said, it

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