Page 3243 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 16 August 2011

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development of national strategies to encourage more freight to be moved by rail rather than by road are measures that the ACT government will continue to support through the relevant national fora, such as the meetings of transport ministers from the commonwealth, states and territories.

MR COE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, is it true that the last company to bring freight into the ACT by rail was a global oil company, and have you received representations from the Greens supporting the movement of oil into the ACT?

MR CORBELL: Yes, it is true, and, no, I have not.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary.

MS LE COUTEUR: Has the proportion of rail freight declined in the ACT in the last five years, and does the government have a target proportion for road and rail freight?

MR CORBELL: Yes, it is true. And no, we do not, for the same reasons that I outlined in my previous answer. The ACT government is not able to control decisions made by individual freight forwarders or freight generators about which transport mode they use for that freight. It is desirable, from an environmental perspective and, indeed, from a safety perspective, that more heavy freight is moved by rail than by road. But those are not matters that the ACT government has direct control over, for the reasons that I have previously outlined.


DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. Would the minister advise what the ACT government is doing to help to get more people into housing in the ACT?

MR BARR: I thank Dr Bourke for his question and for his interest in the residential housing market in the territory. Undoubtedly, housing affordability is a challenge faced by all Australian governments. Here in the ACT, we have put in place a detailed strategy to help more Canberrans into affordable housing. The affordable housing action plan was announced in 2007 and contained 63 initiatives to increase the supply of affordable homes for sale and rent within the city. Phase 2 of the action plan was announced in 2009 and included 21 initiatives focusing on the issues of homelessness and affordable accommodation options for older Canberrans.

There are indeed many factors that are in play in relation to house prices. Demand for housing is high in this city, and that, naturally, is driving prices. Land, too, is a factor, and that is primarily where the ACT government can make a difference. When we released our affordable housing strategy, we recognised that there were no quick fixes, that the issues were complex and that it would take a concerted effort to ensure that more Canberrans could access affordable housing.

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