Page 1458 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 9 May 2017

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MADAM SPEAKER: The minister has some time to come to the end of the answer.

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. At the time, of course, when the amendment was going through in an omnibus bill there was an explanation clearly setting out the process for that technical amendment. The question here today is about advice that I received from the directorate in regard to that, and that was that we needed to clarify the supportive housing terminology for the territory plan.

As I said, supportive housing means the use of land for residential accommodation for persons in need of support. It is managed by a territory approved organisation that provides a range of supported services such as counselling, domestic assistance or personal care for residents as required. Although all those services must be able to be delivered on site, management preparation may be carried out off site. (Time expired.)

MR PARTON: Minister, would you agree that the inclusion of public housing, or initially social housing, in the definition of supportive housing is something far more substantial than a “variation to change the language”?

MR GENTLEMAN: It was put forward to clarify the situation for supportive housing, as I mentioned earlier. Some of the common terminology for that would be aged-persons units, community housing—and this is specified in the change—older persons units, a rooming house or a university college. So inclusion of the term “social housing” in the common terminology for supportive housing is in recognition that the term “social housing” is an umbrella term encompassing generally low cost housing provided by either a public or a community provider for people on low or moderate incomes.

MS LAWDER: Minister, did you receive any advice that this change may not be consistent with the definition or that the change may be problematic or high risk?

MR GENTLEMAN: I cannot recall in the advice whether it was problematic or high risk, but, as I mentioned, it was to clarify the term for supportive housing, and that is why it was put forward.

Planning—public housing

MS LAWDER: My question is directed to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, in relation to the public housing developments announced on 15 March. Minister, in April 2015 the Public Housing Renewal Steering Committee noted that the use of community facility zoned land for public housing would require the planning directorate to support a Territory Plan variation and, if this strategy were supported, then construction could commence. Minister, when did you or your office become aware of the need to change the Territory Plan before public housing developments could proceed on land zoned for community facilities?

MS BERRY: I will take the question on notice.

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