Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 February 2016) . . Page.. 551 ..
I have consistently said that our efforts to improve housing affordability will be far more effective with both levels of government pulling in the same direction. I have welcomed the way in which federal Labor has brought on a national conversation around negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts. I look forward to the coalition putting forward its alternative.
Madam Deputy Speaker, the ACT government will continue to represent our city’s interests in this national reform discussion. I will continue to do so among housing ministers and the Chief Minister will continue to do so in COAG. Again, I welcome the chance to have this wide-ranging discussion today. I encourage all members to engage constructively with policy debates about housing affordability and homelessness. We are always looking for ways to improve our housing system, working closely with those who provide such important services to Canberrans every day.
I just wanted to just touch on one point that Ms Lawder referred to in her speech—and I am not sure if she was referring to the ACT—where she knew of a person or people who were sleeping in their car. I would ask her to please direct that person to my office so that we can provide that person with the support that she would need and get her into some accommodation, rather than just to raise it as a general comment in this place. I commend my amendment to the motion to the Assembly.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.20): I will be supporting the amendment put forward by Minister Berry, and I would like to thank her for her approach to today’s debate. Housing, like health, like education and like corrections all figure prominently in the annual report on government services. There is something in there for everybody to consider, as it paints a picture of what is or is not working compared to other jurisdictions. There can always be difficulties in the data for a small jurisdiction like the ACT but, beyond that, ROGS can also serve as a good helicopter view of the national picture and national trends.
Housing affordability is a good example of that. It is an issue that is being discussed in every state and territory and by the federal government in federal politics as well. Combine homelessness into the mix, as it should be considering the interrelationship between the issues, and we have a very complex discussion on our hands.
That is why I was pleased to see Minister Berry’s amendment did not seek to whitewash the original motion with just the more positive indicators, and will also see the government table its submission to the affordable housing working group which has been formed by request from treasurers at the Council on Federal Financial Relations meeting in October 2015 for further work on housing affordability.
I would like to reflect on that. Minister Berry, in amending this motion, has not sought to strike out all of the negative indicators that are in there. This is probably one of the better amendments I have seen in my time in this place. Ms Lawder put only the negative indicators in. There are some indicators in there as well that paint some useful pictures about where things are going well. I think it is worth having the whole story in the motion. That is why I am happy to support Ms Berry’s amendment,