Page 3053 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009
afford to move to the ACT and to induce them to come to the ACT. We are currently in the run-down phase, and the run-down of the current loans appears to be proceeding satisfactorily. The process, we were told during the inquiry by the estimates committee, will be left to run its course and this is, I guess, because of the very favourable interest rate of 4.5 per cent applying to this debt to the commonwealth. All of the loans will be repaid by 2039-40.
Arrears are always an issue with this agency. I thank the Treasurer for the answer to my question on notice on this matter. At the end of April this year, only 41 out of the remaining 230 loans were in arrears. This appears to be a manageable proportion of the overall loan portfolio. And that is the problem now. That is all I have to say on this portfolio.
There are a number of lines where this will now be the case and a little bit of courtesy would have been appreciated because there are a very big number of short-line items in this budget, but now we have limited ourselves to enormous moneys to be expended on things like Health and Education, with a very short time to expend them.
MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (8.14): The estimates committee were advised that 17 per cent of the 230 to 240 loans were in arrears and this figure does not include clients on the deferred assistance scheme who are meeting their repayments under other arrangements. We understand the government is working on a scheme, as part of its election commitment, to establish a mortgage relief fund to provide short-term loan assistance for owner-occupiers facing mortgage stress and possible repossession of their homes. A discussion paper has been distributed and feedback will be considered when deciding the scheme. We look forward to seeing the outcome of that feedback.
Like the estimates committee, we are concerned that there is not enough being done for tenants who are residing in rental accommodation where the landlord is facing foreclosure on a mortgage, thereby leading to the termination of the tenant’s lease. This issue does need further consideration as the government’s response that tenants caught in this situation can rely on crisis accommodation or public and community housing is inadequate. We know the turn-away rates in crisis accommodation are high and the waiting lists for public and community housing are very long. Therefore, that is not a timely response to tenants who get caught in this situation.
The ACT Greens support the nil appropriation for this line but need to see clear action taken to address these particular concerns that I have just outlined.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.9—Superannuation Provision Account, $137,107,000 (capital injection) and $5,221,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $142,328,000.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (8.16): The asset base of the superannuation provision account, the SPA, has been savaged by the global economic meltdown, along with the asset base of all other superannuation funds, as well as the asset base of many