Page 3657 - Week 08 - Thursday, 19 August 2010

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Despite their yabbering over there, the Liberal opposition really cannot say much because they opposed the stimulus funding. So I would say to Canberrans that if left to the Liberals there would not be over 400 older Canberrans being supported and interested in older persons accommodation. We would not have over 420 accommodation units coming into our stock.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Notwithstanding the self-interest of those opposite, could the minister inform the Assembly of the level of interest shown by older Housing ACT tenants in taking up these new properties?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his ongoing interest in Housing ACT. Indeed, the requests for registration of interest were sent to Housing ACT tenants who wanted to be considered for allocation and who met the age profile and were over their bedroom allocation in their present dwelling.

Housing ACT received over 400 expressions of interest. All clients who are not successful for their first preference will be considered for their other choices. Housing ACT will be working very closely with those who registered their interest but are not part of the key target group. This includes clients who have other needs such as physical mobility concerns or who need to be closer to major health services.

This week, we saw 50 of Australia’s leading academics sign their name to an open letter commending the Labor government for the stimulus strategy, including the money for public infrastructure. These aged person units are concrete proof of the benefits of this money.

Let me finish by noting the words of the former World Bank chief economist who said that the Australian stimulus was the “best designed stimulus program in the world and you should be happy that in fact it worked in exactly the way it was designed to work”.

MR COE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, you referred to a couple of developments that have been finished. On what date were they handed over from the developer to Housing ACT and when will the tenants move in?

MS BURCH: The completed homes I refer to were in Macquarie and Curtin. The Macquarie applications are being assessed and letters will go out to those who are deemed suitable and acceptable. They have been given an offer. We have to wait for them to come back and say whether they accept that offer. They could change their mind. We will work with those between when they receive the letters and through to the middle of next year.

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