Page 3493 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013

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The master plan for the site, of course, in these convoluted times, required a national capital plan amendment, extensive community consultation, integration with the Griffin plan and the Griffin legacy. The development will include a new public park, a range of children’s play spaces, an open area for ball games and water-sensitive urban design. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what initiatives are being undertaken by the government to help stimulate the construction sector?

MR BARR: The government is stimulating activity in new residential construction through its program of tax reform, particularly phasing out conveyance duty and the targeting of a range of concessions. The changes to the first home owners grant and home buyer concession schemes announced in this year’s budget certainly provide a boost to the territory’s residential construction industry and particularly, and most importantly, encourage the construction of new homes.

For first home buyers purchasing a new home, from the start of this month when the new scheme came into operation the first home owners grant increased to $12½ thousand. The home buyer concession scheme was expanded by increasing the income threshold and property value threshold. So households with an annual income of up to $160,000 can now access this scheme. The property threshold for accessing the full concession has increased from $385,000 to $425,000. This means that those home buyers who are purchasing a property up to $425,000 will only pay $20 in stamp duty. The threshold for the partial concession increases from $450,000 to $525,000.

These initiatives, combined, encourage the construction of new dwellings and avoid putting upward pressure on house prices when you have more demand chasing the same supply of housing. That is why they are targeted to encourage the construction of new housing. That avoids house price inflation and ensures that housing is more affordable, which was a great weakness in previously designed schemes.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, why has it taken so long for Lawson to come online, given that the planning committee approved the subdivision in 2009 and the consultation started in 2001?

MR BARR: There were a number of environmental issues in relation to the site and remediation requirements. The site, of course, had to go through the EPBC process and required commonwealth approval before development could occur. That process commenced at the conclusion of the Assembly process—

Mr Coe interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe, I cannot—

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