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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4809 ..

willing to consider new ideas from whatever source. But the ideas need to build on the foundation of the initiatives in place since 2007. The Chief Minister continues to meet with the industry and community sectors to identify possible refinements or new initiatives that could be incorporated into the ACT’s affordable housing action plan. We recognise that social and economic trends change, that new data becomes available. The government will respond in any way it can to improve access to affordable housing for young families and other Canberrans seeking to enter the housing market.

In conclusion, I repeat that we agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment of the motion. Difficulties around trying to sort out appropriate wording have meant that we are unable to support the motion today, but I will make sure that issues raised in this debate are part of the review of the affordable housing action plan, including whether there needs to be some clarity around the appropriate definition—or should I say definitions?—used for affordable housing to make sure that it is clear which target groups each initiative is aimed at.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (8:34): I would like to start by saying that we did circulate an amendment some time ago to both the Greens’ offices and the government. We were asked by the Chief Minister’s office, because we did not know who would be dealing with this, and we provided them, I understand, with the amendment which I will be moving. So that has been provided to both other parties in the Assembly.

The Liberal Party will not be supporting this motion today, and there are a number of reasons for that. We agree that housing affordability is a critical issue and is of critical importance to the people of the ACT. There is no doubt that under this government housing has become far less affordable. It has become more and more difficult for first homebuyers in the ACT over the last several years, and particularly over the last nine years of this government, to purchase a home.

It is worth going through some of the numbers and looking at the stark price increases and the difficulties that I think young families now face in purchasing a home. There are a number of ways you can look at this. One is the median price, which does not give you necessarily a complete picture of affordability but gives you a bit of an indication. There are also reports like the HIA-Commonwealth Bank report, which looked very closely at how first homebuyers fare in terms of purchase. I think that always continues to need to be the target because first homebuyers and renters are the people who are made vulnerable in this equation rather than people buying their second or third home or in other situations.

If you look at the median house price, in March 2002 the median house price, according to the ABS, in the ACT was $245,000. In the December quarter of 2009, it was $525,000. So we have gone from—

Ms Gallagher: Can we get your amendment?

MR SESELJA: Sure; I am happy to circulate it.

MR SPEAKER: I do not think the Clerk has your amendment either, Mr Seselja.

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