Page 4209 - Week 11 - Thursday, 17 Sept 2009

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Overall, Housing ACT will both purchase and build a total of 235 dwellings, with 57 in stage 1 to be completed by June 2010 and 178 in stage 2. In total, as I said at the beginning, this is delivering 350 new social housing dwellings into the ACT. All houses in stage 2 and all of those, where possible, in stage 1 will have six-star energy ratings and specific sustainability inclusions and many will be built for universal design. It was the decision of this government to extend the stage 2 requirements on this to the stage 1 properties. Of the 57 properties being built for stage 1, 33 are under construction, with one already completed in Tallara Parkway, Narrabundah.

One of the reasons for the stimulus package was to create jobs and I can report that, importantly, 30 new workers or those who would otherwise not have had any work are employed on these stage 1 projects. Federal Treasury has advised me that over 15,000 jobs are supported by the stimulus package nationally, and this will translate into hundreds of jobs supported in the ACT. To think that the federal counterparts of those opposite actually voted against the stimulus package and the benefits it has for creating and preserving jobs!

I have referred previously to the huge economic boost the social housing stimulus package has afforded the ACT building and construction industry, creating jobs for our builders, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, brickies, carpet layers, kitchen manufacturers and many other related trades.

Mr Hanson: Yes, yes, yes.

MR HARGREAVES: Interjecting is unseemly, Mr Hanson.

Mr Hanson: Indeed it is. My apologies, minister.

MR HARGREAVES: The ACT government, too, are making a significant contribution to this unprecedented construction partnership, both in land and in investments, totalling $11.9 million. We have been presented with a social and economic opportunity that 12 months ago we would have thought inconceivable. It is an opportunity we have grasped and one that will deliver deep and lasting rewards for all Canberrans.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens), by leave: The ACT Greens welcome the additional financial resources under this appropriation and support the authorisation of expenditure to increase the stock of social housing.

We do believe, however, that we should consider whether there is a need to allocate and spend all the nation building and jobs plan stimulus funds under the tight time frames enforced. The rigid time frames were planned some time ago when we were in the grip of the global financial crisis. Opinion is divided on where we are now in relation to emerging from the global financial crisis. The crisis appears to have not been as severe as previous recessions, and Australia has not felt the same impact as other countries.

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