Page 2522 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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The combination of population increase and reduced household size means more dwellings are required. By and large, about 50 per cent of the requirement for that population increase is met through greenfield land releases, the other 50 per cent through urban renewal. That has been the policy intent of government for some time. You are seeing growth in standard residential units, apartments and townhouses across the territory in a variety of locations. I think that trend will continue.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Treasurer, to what extent are you relying on land sales to drive the government’s projected net operating surplus in 2015-16?

MR BARR: Land sales obviously contribute, but, of course, when you release new land, particularly greenfield land, there is on the expenditure side a range of infrastructure investments required and on the recurrent side a range of services that, of course, need to be provided. So if, in the circumstance of much slower population growth as a result of a change of government federally and 20,00 job losses, we would then need to make adjustments both on the land release side but also to our forward program for infrastructure and service delivery. So, yes, you would lose some revenue, but you also would not have to commit a certain level of expenditure as well.

Ultimately, the government’s planning policies are around targeting more urban growth within the existing footprint of the city to ensure that we can get better economies of scale from our existing infrastructure, but we recognise that we need to be in the marketplace as far as standard residential in greenfield estates. If we are not providing those opportunities on this side of the ACT border, there will be plenty who will provide them on the other side of the border, and then we do not get the GST revenue and those residents, even though they use services in the territory, do not pay taxes to the territory government.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Treasurer, what is your contingency if land sales do not meet forecast projections?

MR BARR: I did obviously go to that in the context of my previous answer in that we have the capacity, of course, if we slow the land release program to slow the infrastructure and service program in those areas that will not go ahead on the same time frame. So we can make an adjustment to our infrastructure and recurrent programs accordingly. But I prefer to take the optimistic view, and I am sure Mr Wall would too, that the city will continue to grow, that we will continue to attract new residents from interstate and from overseas, as well as maintain our very strong natural population increase.

I think the other observation to make, and I am sure Mr Wall would agree as I understand that he is from a family of many generations in this city, is that as the city ages there are more people who retire here because they have family connections here. Our population used to move dramatically because people who came here for work

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