Page 3865 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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participation in the initiative, so our goal through this process, and indeed through broader housing asset renewal, is to be able to grow the size of the public housing portfolio in the territory and we are undertaking a number of processes—

Mr Coe: Point of order, Madam Speaker, on relevance. The question was specifically about whether it would fall below 10,848 and I ask that he directly answer that question.

MADAM SPEAKER: I think the Chief Minister did say that it would not fall below, but if you would like to clarify that, Chief Minister, in concluding your remarks.

MR BARR: As I was saying, the government’s commitment is to utilise the renewal process not only to provide high quality public housing for our tenants but to take opportunities where they present themselves to in fact grow the size of the portfolio. Obviously, as we move through this process the government is acquiring and building new properties and also disposing of some. There will be, of course, periods where we transition between acquisitions—

Mr Coe: Point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Could you let Mr Barr finish? I think he might be getting to the point.

MR BARR: where we move between acquisitions of new properties and disposal of others, but the government’s commitment throughout this process has been, firstly, to ensure that anyone who requires relocation is able to be rehoused in a location of their choice and—

Mr Coe: Point of order, on relevance, Madam Speaker. The question was specifically about whether housing stock would fall below 10,848. That is either a yes or a no; or, if he does not know, we will accept that.

Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Madam Speaker, the question was about what the numbers would be. The Chief Minister is answering that question quite directly. He is explaining that as we move through a disposal and acquisition program—

MADAM SPEAKER: No, thank you. I think I can rule on the point of order.

Mr Corbell: the numbers move up and down. So he is not avoiding the question; he is being relevant, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Corbell. The question was: between February 2015 and February 2017 will the stock fall below—and I think the number was 10,848. That is a fairly direct question. I have given the Chief Minister a fair amount of latitude and he has moved around the question, but I will now ask him to be directly relevant and concise to the point of 10,848. It is a legitimate answer to say, “I do not know”, but in the remaining 30 seconds or so I will see if Mr Barr can answer the question directly.

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