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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1222 ..

MS BERRY: I will get some detail and bring that back to the Assembly.

Public housing—Wright

MR PARTON: My question is directed to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, you have proposed to establish a public housing development in Wright on a block zoned for community facilities. Minister, why are you taking the only section assigned for community facilities in Wright and allocating it for public housing?

MS BERRY: I thank the member for the question. The government thought very carefully before considering community facilities land for this phase of public housing renewal. When Wright was identified as a place where public housing might be suitable, the government took into account that this is community facilities land that is zoned for community facilities use, which includes supported accommodation.

If you look at Wright, there is quite a lot of park infrastructure developed right near the site where public housing is being proposed. So it was very carefully considered that there would be plenty of room for recreation around the public housing site.

Indeed, only a couple of blocks away there is the recreational facility at Stromlo Park where there is considerable work going on to provide sporting and recreational facilities for all of Canberra. But, of course, they are right next door to Wright for those existing residents and future residents to use.

MR PARTON: Minister, why is the government not just using RZ land—that is, residential zoned land—for public housing there to allow that community facility zone to be filled by something that genuinely benefits the wider community?

MS BERRY: Public housing does benefit the broader community. It provides opportunities for people in our community who would not have the same chances as everyone else to get a hand up and to get a chance of a decent life. I would not agree with the premise that public housing is not a benefit for the entire community. I would also say that public housing is not being developed just on community facilities land. Land in the ACT is finite, so careful consideration is made when the government decides where—

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order—

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order, Mrs Dunne.

Mrs Dunne: on relevance under standing order 118. The minister is supposed to be directly relevant. This is an issue about the use of RZ land rather than community facilities land and is specifically in relation to the site in Wright. The minister should be directly relevant.

MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, Mrs Dunne. The minister has responded to questions on public housing on community services land and other land and, in earlier answers, in relation to purchasing property. Minister?

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