Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 30 March 2017) . . Page.. 1386 ..
rundown properties will be replaced with modern homes that suit the needs of our tenants.
As well as public housing, the government will continue to keep housing affordable by ensuring a supply of new homes. We have released more than 37,000 residential sites over the past 10 years and have committed to releasing another 17,000 dwelling sites over the next four years. Of these new blocks, 20 per cent will be reserved for affordable housing.
In conjunction with these infrastructure projects, this government has led the nation on tax reform to make buying a house more affordable. We are cutting stamp duty, one of the taxes that hits hardest when people are trying to enter the housing market. We are targeting the most affordable homes first, cutting tax on cheaper properties faster than on the expensive ones. These initiatives will help Canberrans enter the property market and dampen the impact of speculative investment that drives up prices and makes our economy more prone to economic downturns.
These changes are merely the latest in a long line of housing initiatives implemented by this government, dating all the way back to the release of our first affordable housing action plan in 2007. Our government is committed to addressing the challenge of housing affordability in the ACT and we are committed to ensuring that Canberra remains an inclusive place to live.
MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (4.38): It is a good opportunity to chat about what is, I think, a core responsibility of the ACT government, that is, the provision of affordable housing. Of course, the ACT government are in a unique position whereby they are not only the custodians of the land but also the only policy setters in this space. To that end, absolutely everything in this space when it comes to land, when it comes to planning regulations, when it comes to the built form and, in effect, the cost of housing, is pretty much within the ACT government’s control. That is why it is quite odd and disconcerting to hear those opposite continue to blame the federal Liberal government when in actual fact it is they who have their hands on the levers. They are simply choosing not to pull them.
The register of interested parties for the Taylor auction I think tells a pretty sorry story. The fact that there were 2,396 prospective buyers registering their interest in just 126 blocks shows just how serious the shortfall in supply is in the territory. Out of 2,396 people registered, only 126 are going to win. So you have 2,250 people—presumably 2,250 households in Canberra—who are going to be bitterly disappointed that they were unable to secure a block.
These are people who probably can afford it. So even the people who can afford to buy land cannot do so in Canberra. That is before you factor in the tens of thousands of households in Canberra that cannot afford it. So exactly who is this government satisfying when it comes to its land supply policy? The only people it is satisfying is in fact the Queanbeyan City Council, because it is making a motza on the back of this government. The Queanbeyan City Council is actually responding to demand. It is actually keeping up with demand. It is bringing to market land that people want.