Page 2097 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe! Ms Bresnan, could you start your question again.

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, why is it that the public housing asset management strategy is now three years overdue and how will the new strategy deal with increases in demand?

MS BURCH: We have made a commitment to bring the public housing asset management strategy online by the end of this year. Whilst there has not been an active strategy in place, certainly the principles of our asset management have remained consistent over the last number of years. That fundamental approach is to better support social housing across Canberra, and that is what we have done. We have increased social housing with our commitment, our contribution of community land, our financial contribution plus that from the federal government, bringing on close to 500 properties over the last couple of years. In this budget there is an investment of $10 million that will bring on 35 properties. So I do not see how there is anything in this government’s actions that says we do not invest in supporting homelessness services, we do not invest in affordable housing and we do not invest in social housing here in the ACT.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, do you believe in security of tenure in public housing?

MS BURCH: I believe that those that are vulnerable in our community should be offered all the security they can. I also know that there are about, I think it is, nine or 10 per cent of our renters paying market rent. Their circumstances have changed. They obviously entered the system as disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals and families but their life circumstances have changed and they are able to pay market rent.

The question for governments in these times is always about how we maintain their security of tenure and make sure they do not fall into a vulnerable environment again. But government also has to be very mindful of the 1,500, I think we have got about 1,500, on our waiting list at the moment.

MS HUNTER: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, can you, like the Chief Minister in this question time, without a twist to your face, commit to the goal of 10 per cent public housing in the parliamentary agreement?

MS BURCH: It is my understanding that it is in the parliamentary agreement, Mr Speaker.

Canberra Hospital—obstetrics unit review

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, you stated to the Assembly on 24 February 2010, in relation to the obstetrics bullying inquiry:

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