Page 3524 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 September 2015

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Recommendation 1 is supported in principle as it is considered that the provision of a credit rating for the University of Canberra is only one of many tools available to the ACT government to conduct a risk assessment process. Any future assessment would be dependent on the University of Canberra’s future financial plans. Recommendation 2, which seeks the performance review of the provision of student accommodation, is also agreed in principle. Whilst the review is supported, it is considered premature to undertake it when much of the accommodation has either only recently been provided or has not been constructed yet. Recommendation 5 is proposed to be noted as the future use of Arscott House is a matter to be determined by the University of Canberra rather than the government.

The government is committed to supporting the growth of our tertiary and research sector, in particular to assist the University of Canberra to pursue sustainable growth. However, the national rental affordability scheme has been discontinued by the commonwealth government, and there are no plans at present for the ACT to assist expanding UC’s student accommodation through similar contributions of finance or buildings or land.

Increasing the supply of affordable rental accommodation is important to improve housing affordability, and supporting growth in higher education is important for our city’s economic development. The government’s assistance provided to date supports both of these objectives.

So I have tabled the government’s response to the Auditor-General’s report on ACT government support for the University of Canberra for affordable student accommodation.

National ice task force—government response

Paper and statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events): I present the following paper:

National Ice Taskforce, dated September 2015, pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly of 6 May 2015 concerning crystal methamphetamine use.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: On 6 May 2015 the Legislative Assembly resolved to call upon the ACT government to provide by the end of the September sitting period an update to the Assembly on the national ice task force interim report and implications for the ACT. I welcome the opportunity to update members on the progress made towards the establishment of a national ice action strategy. In July the government held a consultation forum on ice use, with over 40 key community and government representatives, to talk about ice prevention issues. The government of the ACT is working with the national ice task force along with other states and territories to develop a national strategy to tackle the growing national problem.

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