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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 23 March 2017) . . Page.. 1004 ..

Territory Plan variations. Consultation reports will document the comments and how they have been addressed.

Public housing—Northbourne Avenue corridor

MR PARTON: My question is directed to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, in relation to the permanent removal of public housing tenants from Northbourne Avenue, the Canberra Times on 24 June 2014 reported you as saying, “They should be allowed to stay; it’s a responsibility for all of us. I think many years ago people remember when we weren’t as good with the salt and peppering and there were pockets of disadvantage created as a result of that. We don’t want that to happen again.” On 20 January 2015, the Canberra Times reported that you were concerned that the redevelopment would “push tenants out of the city and turn Northbourne into a zone of ‘posh’ apartments for the rich.” Minister, why are you now turning the public housing sites along Northbourne Avenue into “posh” apartments for the rich?

MS BERRY: That is correct; I did say that. That is why I am making sure, as minister, that in the renewal of public housing there is still public housing available for tenants within the city and within the corridor. It is important that people who are in public housing and are being moved out of their homes during this process into new, more suitable housing that best meets their needs have choice about where they live. In the conversations that the task force has been having with these tenants—with the support of organisations like northside community services, Woden community services, ACT Shelter and a number of others—tenants are telling us very clearly that they want to have the same choices and options that the rest of us would like, all across the city.

We are continuing to renew and purchase public housing within the Northbourne corridor and within the city so that people have the choice to live in the city, if that is what they prefer. We are also providing housing all across the city, in Belconnen, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong, Woden and Weston Creek, so that public housing tenants have a choice about where they live that best suits their needs as we go through this renewal program.

MR PARTON: Minister, are you building any public housing on Northbourne Avenue itself as distinct from the broader corridor?

MS BERRY: I think what the member is referring to is the corridor. When we are talking about the—

Mr Parton: Point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Point of order?

Mr Parton: Yes, my point of order is that I am specifically asking about Northbourne Avenue—on Northbourne Avenue. It is a point of order on relevance; so it is on Northbourne Avenue itself.

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