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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 2 April 2009) . . Page.. 1768 ..

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker: could I seek your ruling, if I may—I raised this with the Clerk earlier—on the similarity in the terms of this motion and the motion that was finally passed on private members’ day last week, on 25 March. Could you rule whether this is substantially the same and therefore in order.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is sufficient difference between the motion debated earlier and this one, Mrs Dunne, for it to go ahead.

Mrs Dunne: Okay, thank you.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Madam Deputy Speaker. As members are aware, the housing portfolio responsibility is one that I continue from the term of the last government. During my time as housing minister, I have been dedicated to improving housing services and have been able to implement substantial reforms following on from the work done by Mr Bill Wood, a former minister for housing in this place. The result is a housing system that is now more targeted and responsive to the various needs of people accessing services.

In September, I outlined the nature of these reforms to the Assembly. I talked of the housing continuum—the journey from homelessness to home ownership, and our objective to evolve a system that can provide support in crisis and adequate ongoing housing options for all, whatever their circumstances. As the Prime Minister said to us at the time of the announcement of the stimulus package, this is all about homelessness.

The commitment by the Australian government to provide almost $103 million to bolster and revitalise the ACT’s social housing stock represents a significant capital injection into the ACT economy which will have a significant impact on homelessness in the ACT and avert job losses in the construction industry. It also represents a further opportunity to build on the reform of the housing continuum which I have overseen as minister and am passionate about, and an opportunity to build on this government’s commitment to public housing.

It is often lost in the commentary about the Australian government’s funding for social housing that this government has been injecting substantial amounts of money into public housing for some years now. In the last five years of the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement, we were one of the few jurisdictions to grow its public housing stock.

I would now like briefly to refer to ACT public housing and its capital provision, to show the way in which we have made this achievement. One of our first acts when forming government was to provide $33.2 million from the home loan fund for social housing in December 2003. This set the scene for our reform agenda and it set the pace for our substantial capital injections into social housing. The 2008-09 budget delivered the final tranche of the three-year $30 million allocation to public housing announced in 2006-07 to increase public housing stock.

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