Page 2327 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 June 2013
previously, so that we might avoid repeating those errors, and also to give further consideration to the matters at hand. As I said this morning, I hold a view that, in light of the fact that we have got a whole formal process to go on the budget, I have some discomfort in signing off on a motion today that essentially endorses that. I think there is a formal Assembly process to go through. That is the purpose of reframing the words in my amendment.
I think that the rest of the motion is all statements of fact and reflects things that are happening in the budget. It is quite appropriate for the Assembly to note those and provide a platform to at least start the debate today and have some discussion to that effect. On that basis, I indicate my support for the broader motion and commend my amendments to the Assembly.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (5.15): I thank Dr Bourke for moving this motion today and I thank the deputy leader of the opposition and Minister Rattenbury for their contributions.
There are a number of things to put on the record this afternoon. The first is that over the past four years we have made significant inroads in satisfying a backlog of unmet demand and in stabilising home and unit prices and private rents in the territory. A land release program has certainly assisted in providing a supply-side solution to our housing market challenges.
Whilst demand for apartments appears close to being met with recent releases, there is considerable evidence in the marketplace that demand for detached housing is still strong, particularly in the affordable price brackets that have been targeted in this particular budget for further stamp duty concessions. So we recognise the need to maintain the existing level of residential land supply in locations across the territory.
Today I was very pleased to be joined by Ms Porter, Ms Berry and Dr Bourke for the launch of a major new transformational project for west Belconnen. The ACT government has entered into a partnership arrangement with a locally owned land development company, the Riverview Group, to construct 4,500 new homes accommodating 12,000 people over the next decade, to be built on land adjacent to Holt and west Macgregor in Belconnen.
This new residential development will be a boost for housing affordability and a stimulus for the residential construction sector. The primary aim of this development is to increase the supply of affordable housing for Canberrans looking to purchase a home. The first 200 blocks are anticipated to go to market in 2015. There will be variety of choices in this estate for affordable housing on different sized blocks, and rental opportunities are also planned.
Due to the changes that I announced in the budget yesterday, purchasers of every block sold in the new development will be eligible to access the first home owner grant, which, as Minister Rattenbury alluded to in his comments, has been retargeted to focus on new property construction. We are particular keen to do this because there