Page 1363 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

It was acknowledged that public housing renewal will support those on the lowest incomes and those in greatest need. Support of public housing also shows we are a generous and prosperous community in the ACT—I believe leading the nation in that regard. As many members noted, consultation on how and when we renew our public housing stock is important, both with tenants currently tenanted in ACT Housing properties and with the broader community.

The overarching values and aims in this process are to reduce concentrations of disadvantage and not return to the days of high density dwellings. We must find for our public housing tenants appropriate housing for individual locations.

As all members noted, there are wonderful benefits to come from mixed communities. As Ms Berry noted in particular, housing tenure does not matter to children playing in a playground. We all know that often the richness of our community relationships comes with knowing and learning from people different to ourselves. Public housing tenants, as acknowledged, should have equal access to services, transport and infrastructure. All of these aims and objectives come together to provide housing for those most in need and to continue to build and strengthen our social fabric.

The Chief Minister acknowledged that the public housing renewal program is also about improving the quality of the public housing stock. It will be better designed and more efficient. Also, as Mr Rattenbury noted, houses will be nicer places to live in and cheaper to heat and cool in our winters and summers. Importantly, a number of members recognised how many public housing tenants are older and/or have a disability. Our housing stock must meet their needs.

I thank Ms Lawder, and note her strong commitment to housing over a number of years, and thank the Canberra Liberals for their support of this motion. Ms Lawder’s points about the waiting list for people who are in need of public housing highlight the need to renew our current stock, increase supply and provide housing that better suits the needs of tenants. I hope that the Canberra Liberals’ recognition of and support for this important principle continues as the program is delivered.

This government’s values and objectives are clear in this program of public housing renewal. Our values are to support people to contribute and participate; our objectives are to renew the public housing stock over the next five years. The fact that some areas across Canberra may not be as accessible by public transport reinforces the need to ensure that future public housing meets the needs of tenants as well as the broader community.

I take Ms Lawder’s point about the need to be clearer about the Nicholls development and what supportive accommodation, supportive housing in the case of this development, looks like. This government and I will do what we can to ensure that this information is fully available to residents. For the people who have contacted me about this development, I have been very open about answering their questions. I have been very clear that in this case supportive housing means housing for elderly people and people with a disability. That is clear in the wording from the letters sent to Nicholls residents and to the Gungahlin Community Council.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video