Page 1721 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 May 2017
Amendment agreed to.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (4.22), by leave: I move amendments Nos 2 to 5 circulated in my name together [see schedule 3 at page 1776]. These amendments deal with a number of things—affordable housing, carbon neutral development, whole-of-government coordination and adhering to the Territory Plan. I will go through them one by one.
Affordable housing: in a city as affluent as Canberra, we have a responsibility to ensure that low income earners can find affordable, sustainable and secure tenancies and that first homebuyers are able to enter the housing market. There are an ever-increasing number of people in our community who are living in housing stress, and we have a responsibility to ensure that there are opportunities for people in the lowest income quintiles to find a suitable place to live. This bill provides an opportunity for us to embed this in real, relevant legislation which will make a difference. The Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement commits the government to set affordable housing targets across greenfield and urban renewal development projects. In line with this, the Greens have proposed these amendments to ensure that these targets are set by the minister and to ensure that the City Renewal Authority and the Suburban Land Agency are required to meet these targets.
Setting concrete targets will help Canberra to secure affordable housing, community-owned housing and public housing stock as part of any new major development of land. Without targets there is a risk that affordable housing may be considered as an afterthought, not as an integral starting point for infill and greenfield developments. That is why the parliamentary agreement also includes the development of an affordable housing strategy. The work of both the City Renewal Authority and the Suburban Land Agency must take this strategy into account. There will, of course, need to be structures to prevent resale and windfall profits and to make sure these authorities can do something about it.
The next point is supporting carbon neutral development. Given how many times I have banged on about this in this place, possibly I hardly need to talk about it, except to say that how we build our city is vital to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, which is our legislated goal, in the most convenient and most economic way. This needs to be something that both agencies prioritise. Most agencies must do that.
The reason we want this in the legislation, not just as a whole-of-government requirement, is that these two agencies are front and centre in building the city in a way that will be a model low carbon city in its planning, development and ongoing operation. Canberra must adapt to the expected climate of the future, to global warming and even more extreme weather events. This must be part of our housing, building and planning. That is why we want the stronger wording.
The next part, supporting good government, is about making sure that the really important centrepiece policies of the government which are relevant to infill and greenfield development are adhered to and supported by the CRA and the SLA. These whole-of-government strategies could include the ACT affordable housing action plan,