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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 June 2015) . . Page.. 1983 ..

ventilation, the types of qualities that Minister Berry has outlined as important for people just to be able to have a good quality of life. These sorts of design features will also reduce the utility and living costs of public housing tenants. The new homes will be developed through the public housing renewal program and will be required to have good private open space for tenants, or generous balconies, and a strong focus on security and privacy.

Some of the new homes are being specifically designed to suit families. We recognise that many of our public housing tenants are getting older or live with a disability. We are ensuring that the new public housing is designed to support these tenants too. We require livable and adaptable housing designs that ensure that these homes are accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

Through this program of renewal, the number of public housing dwellings that make up our portfolio will not be reduced. Through the public housing renewal program, this Labor government are putting into practice the policy that has been longstanding in our city, of distributing public housing across Canberra. We are building and acquiring new homes across this city so that we can break down concentrations of disadvantage and give public housing tenants the opportunity to be part of their communities without facing the challenges of living in a large complex of 100 or more tenants.

This scattering, or salt and peppering, of public housing across Canberra allows public housing tenants to be integrated into our community. It gives children the chance to attend schools in our suburbs and gives all tenants the ability to access services that meet their needs. Dispersing public housing and reducing concentrations of disadvantage are just one way in which our city sends a clear signal that we are an inclusive one, proud of providing housing options for all Canberrans.

The public housing renewal program will improve outcomes for public housing tenants by lifting the quality of the overall public housing portfolio. The government is committed to working with local communities where new public housing is proposed to ensure that the design and location of these homes are appropriate for the local area and community. The budget handed down by the Chief Minister and Treasurer yesterday puts dollars—concrete dollars—into this important commitment to an inclusive and supportive community.

I note that in Ms Lawder’s motion there is criticism of the light rail project. Ms Lawder fails to recognise how projects like light rail are so important for all Canberrans. We need to act now to stop unacceptable congestion in north Canberra as the area’s population doubles over the next 35 years. Fifty-seven minutes as the average commute by car from Gungahlin to Civic in 2031 is the prospect we face if we continue business as usual. The economic cost of congestion across Canberra is $700 million a year in lost productivity if we do not act. The environmental cost is having twice as many cars on the road if we do not act.

Capital metro also gives a timely injection to our economy when it needs it most, with $1 billion in benefits across our economy and more than 3,500 jobs during construction alone. We know that light rail can increase private sector development

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