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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 19 February 2015) . . Page.. 606 ..


MR BARR: our public housing stock.

Mr Corbell interjecting—


MR BARR: Our goal, very simply—

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Would you stop the clock, please? I have called Mr Coe, Mr Hanson and Mr Corbell to order. I know there was a nice little theatrical flourish there, but I have called you to order and I expect you to come to order. The Chief Minister has the floor.

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Our goal is very simple. We signed up to this partnership because we want to deliver better transport for Canberra and because we want to renew our city’s public housing asset base. I am pleased to say that today’s announcement is a great victory for social inclusion and equality. It will drive economic growth and it means more jobs for Canberra.

The commonwealth will make a contribution to the territory’s light rail project under the asset recycling initiative. Under the scheme, the territory is eligible for a 15 per cent bonus from the commonwealth government when we sell a surplus asset to pay for new infrastructure. The sale of these surplus assets, together with the support of the federal government, will see an estimated investment of up to $450 million, including $60 million from the commonwealth, into the capital metro project.

Let me be clear: asset recycling is supported only when it is used prudently so that we can raise the money necessary to acquire new public infrastructure for the city. There will be no crazy fire sales, no Campbell Newman “sell everything that isn’t bolted down” approach, just prudent asset sales to deliver prudent new infrastructure for our city.

That first such asset sale, I am pleased to say, had unanimous support in this place, and that was the sale of ACTTAB. That will earn the territory a bonus of nearly $16 million alone for the $105.5 million sale price—so the bonus, plus the sale price, will be invested into new productive infrastructure for this city.

Similarly, the ACT government will look at other government buildings that are scheduled to be replaced. When these become surplus they can also be sold and attract bonuses. We are committed—and let me be very clear—that our replacement of public housing is a roof-for-roof replacement. Surplus land will be sold under the scheme and that will attract further bonuses. We are required under the agreement to maintain our public housing stock and, indeed, to deliver new housing before old housing can be disposed of.

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