Page 2673 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 July 2008

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We do know that, since 2006, the superannuation provision contributions by the employer are not as attractive for public servants who have the choice to nearly double that at the federal level. We heard again that the government was working a new whole-of-government directions paper, redesigning its website for jobs in the ACT, providing a revised graduate program, presenting executive awards, improving senior executive service networking and developing executive and senior officer coaching and mentoring.

We are all vitally interested in our public service. They are, after all, the people who do the work that the Assembly sets them, and it is very important that we have the best available public servants and that they feel happy in their jobs and are likely to stay, because really the success of this territory depends entirely upon them.

So the recommendation to the government that our committee made is that the ACT government should conduct exit surveys of all staff leaving the ACT public service. At the moment that information is not collected. We do not know why people leave the public service. And it would assist us greatly in recruiting and retaining staff if we knew why they did not find it attractive to stay in the ACT public service.

I commend the report to members and ask that it be noted.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Housing Assistance Amendment Bill 2008

Debate resumed from 8 May 2008, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.17): This bill gives the Commissioner for Housing comprehensive powers over affordable housing and community housing providers. Given that we are, in essence, talking about public assets of the territory, then certainly some kind of oversight and regulation are absolutely essential.

This bill establishes a regulatory framework for not-for-profit housing providers and it divides them into affordable housing providers, which at this stage means CHC Affordable Housing, once upon a time known as Community Housing Canberra, and community housing providers. The commissioner keeps a register of these providers.

CHC provides rental accommodation at 75 per cent of market rates. In the context of an overheated rental housing market with no vacancies, that particular notion of affordability is a very limited one. There is nothing in this legislation which suggests how that level is set or on what basis it would, or could, be changed.

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