Page 1343 - Week 04 - Thursday, 30 March 2017

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I wish to provide an explanation as to why Assembly business order of the day No 3 was discharged from the notice paper. I initially raised housing affordability as an issue in this chamber in December last year, when I referred an inquiry to the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal.

The ACT government has made great strides in increasing housing affordability for Canberrans, but there are still many improvements to be made. The OECD has found that between the early 1980s and 2015 there was a 78 per cent increase in Australian housing prices. In the ACT, many families in the bottom 40 per cent of household incomes pay more than 30 per cent of their gross income in rent or mortgage payments. Young people, older women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are even further affected, and continue to be locked out of the housing market.

It is vital that government continues to work with these people and community groups to deliver affordable housing for our community. Successive housing affordability action plans have demonstrated the ACT government’s commitment to the welfare, security and financial stability of Canberra residents. Under the current affordable housing action plan, and since 2007, the ACT government has provided 2,650 dwelling sites for purchase at specific, affordable prices; provided 2,025 dwelling sites released under land rent; and allocated 523 sites to Community Housing Canberra and 459 sites for new public housing construction.

The ACT’s social housing system is among the best in Australia as a result of the ACT government’s investment in homelessness services and public housing. We can be proud of the developments that have been made for the people of Canberra, but we should not lose focus or the drive to increase housing affordability across the territory.

The Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement includes several provisions that have enabled the ACT government to make significant progress towards achieving a more equitable social housing system for all. This issue has not lost salience, and an inquiry into housing affordability has been self-referred by the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal. I look forward to hearing the committee’s findings from the inquiry and am confident that the ACT government will continue to lead on progressive policy changes that increase the availability of affordable housing.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

ACT Health—emergency department presentations data

MR COE: This question is for the Minister for Health. On 29 March in the Assembly, yesterday, in your role as minister for transport and community services, you proposed a series of amendments to Mr Doszpot’s motion regarding dog attacks. The first clause of Mr Doszpot’s motion identified that 155 dog attack victims presented to the ACT hospital emergency department. Your amendment added:

… however, it is unknown how many presentations are ACT residents …

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