Page 3079 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009
This reporting regime is substantial, and security issues are already addressed through this process. For that reason, the government did not support the recommendation of the estimates committee.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.13—Housing ACT, $46,705,000 (net cost of outputs) and $76,082,000 (capital injection), totalling $122,787,000.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (9:48): I rise to speak about Housing ACT and the appropriation for it as per the 2009-10 budget. Housing ACT is always a controversial area of the ACT budget and a controversial area for the government in general. It is an area of government that involves managing a lot of competing priorities, an area of government that of course has a huge expenditure, and an area that is increasingly changing in scope with the growth of the community housing and affordable housing sectors.
Whilst it is a challenging area, it is also an area that does provide a lot of opportunities. That is something that the ACT non-government housing providers are providing. They are providing a lot of opportunity and a lot of excitement in the housing space—organisations like Community Housing Canberra, Havelock and others.
I do note on community housing that budget paper 4 on page 270 reveals that tenant overall satisfaction is 71 per cent for public housing and 73 per cent for community housing. By the budget indicators there, there is general approval that the community housing sector is doing a good job.
It is no mistake that the community housing sector in Canberra will have some successful applications with regard to the national stimulus package. It is important that the ACT government does actually back non-government organisations when going for this money, and back them heavily. There were some concerns early on in this debate that the ACT government would be trying to push for all the stimulus package money to be going to Housing ACT. I am pleased that that position has not been followed through and that the ACT will have applications, hopefully successful applications, from the non-government sector.
One of the biggest issues that I have encountered since I was elected to this place and appointed shadow minister for housing is that of antisocial behaviour in public housing. I am the first to admit that it is by no means an easy area of government. Complaints have come to my office from neighbours of Housing ACT properties, tenants of Housing ACT properties and some people who have been accused of antisocial behaviour themselves. There are certainly a lot of positions that have to be managed. I commend Housing ACT for their commitment, but I do state that there is a long way to go before this is dealt with properly.
In particular, I have received complaints from at least 11 suburbs, including Ainslie, Belconnen, Chisholm, Holt, Kaleen, Kambah, Oaks Estate, Lyons, Theodore and Watson. The overwhelming feeling of affected neighbours of public housing is that