Page 4811 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 20 October 2010

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responsible for virtually all of the greenfields release in the territory, has a significant responsibility and plays a significant role in the kind of cost burdens that there are for Canberrans.

If you look back at the ABS figures in terms of those median prices, we saw this massive hike from March 2002 to March 2003 to March 2004. We saw the median price go from $245,000 to $300,000 to $372,000 in the space of just two years, so going up by roughly 50 per cent in two years, and we also saw a very slow land release around the same period. So we had a government that was actively restricting land release at a time when the commonwealth public service was growing significantly in the ACT. The combination of those two things, a combination of strong employment growth during that time and land shortage created by the ACT government, pushed those prices up in a very steep manner, and ACT first homeowners have never quite recovered from that.

Not only do the ACT government control land release, but of course they are also a developer. In fact, for a significant period they were the only developer of residential land in the territory, of greenfields residential sites. They were either doing them in their own right or they were doing them as joint ventures. Since then they have gone to a partial privatisation where they will do about one-third of land release as an englobo, but there seem to be moves by the ACT government to move away from that and to do more of it themselves.

The other thing that I think has been a really important contributor is the slow rollout of infrastructure. One of the things that really slow these land releases is infrastructure and the provision of infrastructure to these subdivisions. We see in the answer to the question on notice on Molonglo, when asked when construction of homes on these blocks will be able to commence, that the answer was mid-2011. Of course, I do not recall the government ever meeting one of these targets, yet we are talking about people who paid $700 per square metre for blocks in Molonglo some time ago and who are looking to, at the very earliest, one would say, mid-2011, and more likely, on recent form, late 2011 or some time into 2012, before they actually get to start building on these blocks.

With those kinds of numbers, you can understand why we do not see the kind of land release that the government touts making a real difference to affordability, because there is such a lag time on actually bringing these blocks to market. There has been that stifling of competition that we have seen, and the stifling of competition has come about through the preponderance of the Land Development Agency, through the way that this government has conducted land release. That has not helped.

So we have the issues about land release, about the speed of land release, about the government developing the land. We have problems with the provision of infrastructure. We have planning problems in ACTPLA and how much that slows things down. And now we also have this issue around the government actually looking to make things worse. I now move the amendment circulated in my name:

Omit all words after “income” in paragraph (1), substitute:

“(2) notes:

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