Page 5459 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 8 December 2009

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MS BURCH: Thank you. I was just talking around the reforms. These reforms will improve—these are our youngest children; this is the future of our nation—children’s educational health and wellbeing outcomes, developing the capabilities of the next generation and contributing to Australia’s future prosperity. The Australian government—it is an Australian government commitment—is providing $61 million between 2010 and 2014 to states and territories to support the framework. This is on top of the support the Australian government provides to families through the childcare benefit and the childcare rebate.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Coe?

MR COE: Thank you. Minister, have you read the Access report yourself?

MS BURCH: Indeed I have Googled

Housing affordability

MS PORTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Can the Chief Minister update the Assembly on progress in implementing the government’s housing affordability action plan?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Ms Porter, for the question. I am very happy to do that. The housing affordability action plan, a leading plan nationally, I think, represents the most rigorous and comprehensive attempt by any government in Australia to deal with the issues of housing affordability. And we are beginning to see the fruits of such a detailed and extensive plan.

There are over 60 actions and the government has worked on the implementation of each of them. One of the most significant initiatives we have pursued is, of course, to accelerate land release. It was a significantly enhanced and accelerated land release which led to the release just last year of over 4,300 units of land for housing and, the year before that, 3,700. This year, we anticipated we would release somewhere in the order of 3,100, which would make a total of over 10,000 in just the last three years.

We have already reviewed this year’s land supply target as a result most particularly of a continuing strong economy and housing activity within the ACT, assisted, of course, by the commonwealth government’s enhanced first home buyer grant which did stimulate enormous interest in the ACT. There have been very high levels of take-up of land and of available housing in the territory over this last year.

I have asked the department to provide me with advice on the possibility and, indeed, the steps we would need to take to increase this year’s supply by perhaps another 1,000 units. The department is currently working on advice on how we might best put into the market an additional 1,000 units for housing in this financial year. Of course we would hope that some of that would be in relation to units.

One of the impediments, perhaps, to driving forward affordability to the extent that we might have liked in this last little while has been access to capital, particularly for those that would wish to develop units. There has been a slowing in unit development

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