Page 2423 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 June 2013
Post-implementation review of the ACT land rent scheme—government response
Paper and statement by minister
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): For the information of members, I present the following paper:
ACT Land Rent Scheme—Post implementation review—Government response.
I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.
MR BARR: Today, I am tabling the government response to the post-implementation review of the ACT land rent scheme as requested by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in its report Inquiry into Appropriation Bill 2012-2013 (No 2). The government thanks the consultants, Epic Dot Gov, for the review report and their insightful findings and recommendations. Their work is an important contribution to the ongoing improvement of the ACT land rent scheme and securing the objectives of that scheme for the benefit of the Canberra community. The government welcomes the key finding that the scheme has been successful overall and acknowledges there are opportunities for improvement.
Since the review the ACT government has either implemented or is progressing a range of strategies in line with the recommendations in the report to improve the design and administration of the scheme. The government is also committed to further reforms to the scheme and will give ongoing consideration to the other recommendations in the report in the context of the government’s broader policy settings.
I would like to take this opportunity to reflect upon some of the key steps the government has taken since the review. The government has made changes to its affordable housing thresholds policy, aimed at increasing the supply of smaller blocks of land in the territory. The government will continue to provide targeted homebuyer assistance to land rent lessees.
The homebuyer concession scheme was expanded in the 2012-13 budget and again in the 2013-14 budget. In the recent budget, the first home owner grant was increased for the purchase of new homes. The government has extended access to the two per cent discount rate to CHC Affordable Housing to achieve a greater social outcome. The government has introduced a security payment on block selections. In 2013-14, the government has also modified the scheme to provide improved and targeted access for low and moderate income households who are eligible for the two per cent discount rate. The standard four per cent rate will cease to be offered to new entrants who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the discount rate.