Page 1290 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2009
seriously suggesting that, if a privately owned shopping centre ran down—if Westfield let Woden plaza run down—the government would be responsible to step in and provide the capital to upgrade the facility? No, of course they are not. This is opposition for opposition’s sake, pure and simple, seeking to get a scintilla of political advantage—and it is only a scintilla; let me assure you of that much: a small amount of political advantage—out of an issue that is distressing for Deakin Swimming Ltd and distressing for users of the pool.
The government will do three things. Firstly, we have been working closely with Deakin Swimming around what we can do to assist users of the pool. We have been working with other pool operators, particularly Belgravia, who have indicated that there is capacity within both Civic and Tuggeranong pools for up to 700 learn to swim places. And we will happily work with other private pool owners in the inner south. I understand, for example, that the Canberra grammar school have made their swimming pool available for some of the users of Deakin as those users have determined that the quality of the facility is in such a poor state that they would prefer to swim elsewhere. The government will also rigorously pursue its legal avenues under the territory plan and the lease conditions to ensure that Mr Turco meets his legal obligations as the owner of the facility. We will happily pursue that matter.
MR COE: Chief Minister, I refer you to a key component of your affordable housing action plan, “an innovative and creative proposal to work with institutional investors to develop and rent between 200 and 400 private rental dwellings”. In your progress report released last August, and on the www.affordablehousing.com.au website, it says that expressions of interest have been sought and evaluation is near completion. Why, almost two years from your announcement, has there been no progress on this initiative?
MR STANHOPE: I thank the member for his interest in affordable housing and in the government’s initiatives. I regret that he has not maintained that level of interest actually in the outcomes and in the continuing implementation by the government of all 63 of the recommendations included in our affordable housing strategy, an Australian-leading strategy in relation to affordability and a strategy that really has been closely reviewed and, in many instances, mimicked by other governments around Australia. It is a strategy which, of course, continues to return significant dividends for the people of the ACT.
All of the initiatives that we identified are being pursued. Some of them are quite complex and, in their complexity, require quite detailed negotiations. We have made significant advances on all of those Australian-leading initiatives such as land rent, OwnPlace, shared equity and the significant advance in relation to community housing and in relation to, essentially, a broad-scale equity rental arrangement with a financial provider.
Mr Coe: What about the rental dwellings, Jon?
MR STANHOPE: Yes, we are dealing, negotiating and, in relation to each of these, progressing them and progressing them extremely well. I think there are probably five