Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1257 ..
While the new public housing is mainly intended to provide an option for tenants who are moving from the current multi-unit properties, it will not be limited to these tenants. Ageing tenants or those with a disability might, for example, get the chance to transfer to a much better home for their needs. I know of tenants living with disability who are now much happier in an appropriately designed home. I also know about young families who feel safer and more secure living in a newer property close to the services they need. We need to make sure that we continue to build an inclusive and supportive community, valuing all members of our society and understanding the different needs of the people who rely on our public housing to provide a safe and secure foundation for life.
The government is engaging with the community’s views on the design of the proposed developments. The five-week DA consultation period, which has not begun yet, that I have put in place makes sure the community has time to give formal feedback after the development application is lodged, as well as the time before that takes place when the government is also talking with local residents.
I understand the community concerns that Mr Parton wants to put forward today, and I have also spoken with community members in these areas. It is fair to say that there are also residents who are strongly supportive of these proposed developments. They just want to be sure that they fit in with the amenity of the existing suburb, and we are very happy to talk with residents about how this could occur.
Members of the public housing renewal task force will be available to answer questions and listen to feedback at drop-in information sessions scheduled for 7 and 8 April 2017. Again I welcome the chance to have this wideranging discussion today. I encourage all members to engage constructively with policy debates about public housing, and I hope we can all support this amendment, which paints the full picture of the government’s approach to this vital renewal program.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (4.19): The current public housing renewal program debate is a fine example of the intersection of different public policy ideals. The Greens and I unambiguously support increased public housing. There is no possibility that we are going to support a motion that calls on the government to cancel the planned public housing renewal program in any way. For instance, the first parliamentary agreement in 2008 had an aspirational goal of 10 per cent public housing. I understand that we currently have only about six per cent public housing. The bottom line is that ACT Housing has a program to provide 1,288 new homes. The issue is where they should be and the process for replacing them.
The Greens, of course, also support the community. Indeed, our campaign slogan at the last election was “community first”. However it is clear that there is some community disquiet about the housing proposals for Chapman, Holder and Wright, and my inbox makes that abundantly clear. I am sure other Murrumbidgee members would be having exactly the same experience or more so.
But governing, as distinct from opposing, means balancing different aims and recognising there are many public policy goals. You cannot always achieve them all,