Page 2324 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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extraordinary contribution by Mr Pratt. At the end of the territory and municipal services debate we are witnessing the most conservative branch of the Liberal Party in this country. Having just had to sit through that speech, if you ever needed confirmation that these guys are out on the lunar right, that speech proves it. Mr Mulcahy is made to look like a bleeding heart leftie after that speech. Unbelievable!

One wonders where all the people who Mr Pratt proposes to turf out will actually end up. I am not sure exactly what the housing policy will be once you have been turfed out of public housing. Once you have been turfed out of public housing, Pratt-style, where exactly would you end up? What sort of solution is that? We have just had, what, 15 minutes of ranting and not one positive solution from Mr Pratt about how we might improve our public housing system—

Mr Pratt: Ask people to accept their responsibilities, Mr Barr.

MR BARR: and make it better for tenants and better for society overall.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt! You have used up your 10 minutes.

MR BARR: All we got was a tirade about how everyone should be turfed out. I am not sure where they are going to be turfed out to. At 10.15 on this Friday night I think it is more important to focus on the significant benefits that have accrued within Housing ACT following the implementation of the new public rental housing assistance program which commenced on 1 October 2006. The changes revolved around a holistic approach to meeting the complex needs of clients within the Housing ACT portfolio.

This year’s budget continues the ACT government’s commitment to the provision and expansion of high-quality public housing by confirming the third tranche in a three-year $30 million allocation to increase the public housing stock announced in 2006-07. In the first year of this allocation, Housing ACT purchased 25 properties for families. A further 27 properties were purchased in the 2007-08 financial year. I understand that the government was able to access an additional $4.3 million from the home loan portfolio. That was spent in acquiring 14 two-bedroom properties in the 2007-08 financial year. This means that the total housing capital program for 2007-08 is expected to be finalised at $53.5 million, which will have provided funds to construct 26 new properties, purchase 98 new homes and conduct $6.6 million worth of upgrades and improvements within the public housing stock.

I am advised that this year’s capital program is expected to increase from that $53.5 million to $82.9 million, which will provide an estimated 64 constructed properties, 145 purchased homes and approximately $9 million in upgrades and improvements. This budget also allocates $2.333 million in capital funding to Housing ACT to undertake the ACT government’s climate change strategy—weathering the change—to implement a range of energy saving measures across Housing ACT properties.

Finally, the second appropriation last year provided half a million dollars over two years to improve water efficiency in public housing properties. This program

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