Page 3525 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013

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families? Improve your lot in life, and the government will take away your home unless you buy the land that you live on. There is no certainty with regard to income thresholds and calculations for prospective land rent participants and the guidelines on transferring the lease to non-eligible transferees, as these are at the minister’s discretion.

As we voted, I think, against every bit of legislation connected with the land rent scheme, we will continue to do so.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.46): On Tuesday when we debated the duties deferral amendment bill I said that the Greens do not believe that we currently have the package of housing assistance measures right and that we should look holistically at how we provide assistance across the housing continuum and the level of support we provide to the different stages of the continuum.

In that context, the land rent scheme has proven to be a very popular scheme. It was created as a scheme to assist those who would not otherwise be able to afford home ownership to move into ownership. I think it is fair to say that whilst this scheme has achieved that objective for a good number of people, it has also been used by some who were already in the housing market or who had the capacity to enter the market without the scheme as well as by those exploiting the scheme for land banking.

The bill should address these issues and restrict access to the scheme to those who otherwise would genuinely struggle to achieve home ownership. The Greens support these changes. As I have said before, these are broadly consistent with our view that we should be shifting the housing assistance provided by government to those most in need.

Of course, those who can afford to purchase a house through land rent are not those most in need, but the reality is that there is less of an opportunity cost for the government in allowing people to rent rather than buy land than with other grants and concessions that could simply be spent on those more in need. The land rent scheme is an innovative idea and deserves to be recognised as a very positive initiative. The bill responds to initial problems and refines the scheme to help it better achieve its objective. No doubt over time further refinements may be required, and a willingness to continually refine the scheme and accept when things need to be adjusted is very positive.

As I said previously, there should be a comprehensive look at the range of housing assistance measures so that we have an objective assessment of what works and what does not, and how the initiatives can work together to ensure that we help those who need it and provide the community overall with not only the best use of their limited resources but also the best social outcomes.

Having made those general points, there is one small issue presented by the bill which was raised by the scrutiny committee. I do not think that the current provisions of the bill are quite right; I think the points raised by the scrutiny committee are valid. I will

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