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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 August 2008) . . Page.. 3248 ..

MR STANHOPE: It is flawed policy, they say, so they will abolish it and deny the opportunity to those that wish to take it up. “We will deny them.” Those that wish to access the land rent scheme will be denied the opportunity under the Liberals. This is a point of distinction or separation, according to Mr Seselja. “We will promise to abolish the land rent scheme because we don’t think people can be trusted to make these decisions on their own behalf.”

In the context of that analysis by Westpac, it is interesting that this particular policy on stamp duty will drive up the price of houses by 10 per cent. There have been figures released. Just today, coincidentally, the Housing Industry Association revealed that first homebuyer affordability in the ACT actually increased by 10 per cent in the June quarter of this year. Under this government, housing is becoming more affordable. We see the latest indication of that today in Housing Industry Association figures.

The plan is having a real impact on affordability across the board. I have found remarkable Mrs Burke’s attack on Community Housing Canberra today. Here is another project or policy in the sight or in the gun of the Liberal Party today—a project with a $50 million finance facility, a direct injection of $40 million. Even that is not good enough, with a promise by Ross Barrett that he will deliver 1,000 houses in the next 10 years. (Time expired.)

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.43): I have probably got about two minutes; I will go very quickly. People will have seen last night the program on the impact of mining in Western Australia and will have noted that there is an affordable housing crisis. It is not peculiar to Canberra; it is a national problem. I first want to assert that; we need to see a great deal more action at the national level on this one.

The Greens have been calling for an affordable housing plan or strategy for most of this time. We were very happy when the government set up an affordable housing task force or whatever this government called it in this iteration. We are very pleased that all those moves have been made.

We do note, however, that there seems to be a real push towards home ownership and that that leaves out a huge number of people. We have had Mr Seselja talking for the homeowner. We have had Mr Mulcahy talking for the investor. We have had Mrs Burke talking about community housing, and I endorse a lot of the remarks that she made about community housing. I would like to let the Chief Minister know that CHC is no longer Community Housing Canberra; it is CHC Affordable Housing, and it is different.

We know that with a lack of affordable housing we lose our discretionary workforce. People who do not have well-paying jobs and people who live in single-income households cannot afford to live in Canberra unless they own their own homes. I should declare an interest here. I rent in the private rental market. I notice that no-one else declared their interest when they spoke on behalf of various constituencies. I speak on behalf of the group that no-one has really talked about, people living in the private rental housing market. That is where the pinch is really felt.

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