Page 749 - Week 02 - Thursday, 10 March 2011

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Mr Smyth interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, you have asked your question.

MR STANHOPE: the ACT is essentially in no different position from other capital cities in Australia or other cities in Australia. Indeed, Bankwest actually conclude, in the report to which Mr Smyth refers, that the situation in the ACT is far better than it is in both Sydney and Melbourne. It is a national problem.

We do not deny at all that it is a significant issue. It is important, though, to go to the methodology that Bankwest employed in their particular analysis of affordability, just as it is in relation to the Commonwealth Bank and HIA. Indeed, Bankwest are talking about the individual with a single salary—a group of very important workers. They are looking not at household disposable income or gross income of a household but at an individual. They make their analysis on that basis.

The ACT government is proud of our record of achievements in relation to these particular issues. Indeed, we have some of the most advanced policies in Australia in relation to affordability. We have intervened in a way that no other jurisdiction, government or council in Australia has, most particularly through mandating now that 20 per cent of all housing within the ACT will be delivered for under $328,000. Just to give members an example of the import or implication of that, in this particular year we are releasing 5,000 units for housing, 1,000 of which will be delivered to the market for under $328,000.

It is important, too, to note the true nature of the market, and analyses such as those delivered by Bankwest and, most particularly, the Commonwealth and HIA do not account for the fact that since October 2008—indeed, since the last election—10,400 building sites have been released in the ACT in the real estate market generally. And of course, of those 10,400, 15 per cent initially, and now 20 per cent, must be delivered for under $328,000. In the real estate market generally across the board, since October 2008, 4,763 homes in the ACT have been valued and sold at under $400,000. Of the 4,763 homes that have changed hands, been purchased or built in the last two years, 2,024 were sold for under $328,000 and 894 were sold for under $300,000.

That gives some indication of that other aspect of the market—the extent to which we have, through our policies, sought to cope with first homebuyers and those that wish to enter the market as first homebuyers. Over and above that, of course, we also have land rent—a nation-leading—

Mr Smyth: What did the Auditor-General think of land rent?

MR SPEAKER: Order! One moment, Chief Minister. Sorry to interrupt you. Stop the clocks, thank you. Mr Smyth, you are now warned for repeated interjection.

MR STANHOPE: Land rent, a nation-leading initiative, which has delivered 750 contracts in relation to land rent, hopefully will see people being able to build their own home for a mortgage of around $200,000. CHC affordable housing is well on the way. They have in the pipeline, I think, somewhere in the order of their 600th home

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