Page 1293 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2009

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MR SPEAKER: You are correct, Mr Smyth. My choice of words was probably a poor one. I think that the nature of the question does provide some latitude for the Chief Minister to move quite broadly and remain relevant to the point of the question in this case.

Mr Smyth: I disagree. The question simply was: how many homes? Give us a measure of success against the 400. Is it zero or is it 400 or has the system failed? It has delivered nothing 15 months after it was put in place, or 18 months after it was put in place. It is fairly reasonable to assume it is a failure.

Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, on the point of order: the question clearly invited commentary on the success or otherwise of the government’s policy. The minister is responding to that and contrasting it with other approaches that the government does not believe are appropriate. His answer is entirely relevant and Mr Smyth is seeking to debate the matter.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Stanhope, I ask you to provide a specific answer to the first half of the question as well.

MR STANHOPE: I have done that, Mr Speaker. The answer is that the government is negotiating a suite of very innovative housing affordability initiatives. One of them involves the potential englobo release of land to an institution, most particularly a financial institution, on the basis that a set proportion of the housing be available for rent. We are in continued negotiation and discussion in relation to the delivery of that initiative.

It is a very significant initiative involving potentially hundreds of blocks of land in an englobo release, and to suggest that a policy such as this can be initiated, developed and implemented at the click of the fingers really shows a remarkable misunderstanding or lack of understanding by the Liberal Party, and most particularly the member, about how land release finance and housing development occurs.

This is a very complex and challenging position to put, that the government might release, for instance, anywhere between 500 and 1,000 blocks in an englobo release to a financial institution on the basis that, say, half or a significant proportion of those—say, up to 1,000 blocks—released in an englobo release would be available for rental. That is a very big picture response to a significant issue in relation to rental stress within the capital.

It is a significant proposal, and for you to treat it with that sort of hilarity and jocularity and lack of understanding really goes to show that you have absolutely no understanding or conception of land release, housing or finance. You display your ignorance for the world to see if you believe that the government can stump up with a policy that involves potentially the release of 1,000 housing blocks to a financial institution with a tied requirement that up to half of them be rental, overnight, in this environment. What a joke you are.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Stanhope. Your time has expired.

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