Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 Sept 2009) . . Page.. 3927 ..
The boost will be reduced by half from 1 October 2009. The known phasing out of the boost from 31 December 2009 will reduce the rush towards the end of the boost period. However, building work will continue after this period as the construction of new houses must commence within 26 weeks of the date of the contract and must be completed within 18 months of construction commencing.
The Treasurer has mentioned that the government is committed to making housing affordable to Canberrans. The boost, as well as the government’s second phase of the affordable housing action plan, will address the needs of homeless Canberrans and create affordable, appropriate accommodation options for older Canberrans. These initiatives will continue to stimulate the ACT economy and community.
I will just go back to the figures where the ACT government will continue to support the Australian government by administering the boost. The figures really do tell of great benefit to the ACT community, with the ACT providing approximately 1,800 boost payments, 3,000 first home owner grant payments, and approximately 2,000 duty concessions to ACT homebuyers. That is great for the ACT economy, so I will be supporting the First Home Owner Grant Amendment Bill 2009 (No 2) and I call upon other members of the Assembly to do the same.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.02): On behalf of the Treasurer, I would like to thank members for their support of this bill. The bill amends the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000. These amendments allow for the continuation of the first home owner boost scheme—the boost—in accordance with announcements made by the Australian government. Affordable housing is something that all Canberrans should have access to, and the government is committed to achieving this.
Through the affordable housing action plan, the government are providing innovative and coordinated measures to improve housing options for all in our community. We have implemented initiatives to make housing more affordable. We have released more land than before, introduced a better planning system, introduced targeted duty concessions for first homebuyers and pensioners and encouraged innovative housing designs that provide for affordable homes. The government are providing access to more appropriate and more affordable housing for all Canberrans through the housing affordability action plan. The government will continue to work to improve housing options and, together with the first home owner boost, initiatives of this government are assisting more Canberrans to achieve the dream of owning their own homes.
The government is pleased to assist the Australian government in the continued administration of the first home owner boost scheme. Administering the boost and first home owner grant payments together provides significant administrative efficiencies for both government and homebuyers. The joint administration means that first homebuyers are able to obtain the benefits of both payments through a single application process. Demand by first homebuyers has contributed significantly to the growth and to strength of activity in the ACT housing market. This demand demonstrates the effectiveness of the boost scheme. Together with other housing initiatives and the low interest environment, the boost is helping to make