Page 3623 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 22 October 2013

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jail is viewed in the broader community and, I think, in the words of the Canberra Times, as something like a “dysfunctional fiasco”, but I will check my words.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Doszpot): Madam Speaker has received letters from Ms Berry, Dr Bourke, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mr Gentleman, Mr Hanson, Mrs Jones, Ms Lawder, Ms Porter, Mr Smyth and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Mr Hanson be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of affordable housing in the ACT.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.20): I am very pleased to speak in the Assembly today on this matter of public importance because it is clear, to this side of the Assembly at least, that the issue of affordable housing is a real and critical concern for Canberrans. Home ownership has been historically one of the foundation aspirations for generations of Australians. Australians have aspired for generations to get a number of things—people want a good education, people want employment, they want a good job, and people who you talk to, regardless of their background, want to own their own home. For many Australians, buying their own home is the most important financial decision of their lives. It is a significant investment. However, this aspiration is for many Canberrans becoming more and more difficult every year, and it is being made worse by this ideologically driven and out-of-touch Labor-Greens government. The Labor-Greens government spends the increased taxes it levies on ordinary Canberrans on things that do not really help them in many cases—indulgent follies such as the Skywhale. Driving up the cost of housing can be directly attributed to the decisions made by this government.

But before I address the negligence of the Labor-Greens government, let us have a look first at how bad the housing affordability situation is in Canberra. Here are some of the facts. In Canberra we have some of the most expensive houses in the country. Currently the median Canberra house price is $540,000, $25,000 above the average Australian price of $525,000. These numbers just slip off the tongue sometimes and do not really sink in, so let me reiterate them: the median price of a house in Canberra is over $540,000. For an average young couple starting off life, they are facing the hurdle of well over $500,000 just to get an average home. For those Canberrans trying to buy a unit to enter the market, the story is not much better. The median Canberra price for a unit is $405,000. From the point of view of many Canberran first homebuyers, $405,000 for a unit or $540,000 for a house are figures that are completely disheartening and unachievable.

We hear from member opposite not to worry about the average price of a home. First-time buyers have to start at the bottom of the rung and work their way up. The median house price for a first homebuyer is $420,000. So if you are trying to buy your first home, you are looking at $420,000.

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