Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2017) . . Page.. 3157 ..
that it includes affordable housing because, as we know, at least 30 per cent of our population is living in housing stress and we must come up with innovative, responsive ideas.
We must listen to the community to enable them to have a say in how we can ensure that everyone has a roof over their head that is safe and that they can afford. I draw attention to the recommendation of the Select Committee on Estimates to recognise the significant gaps in the current homelessness system, particularly for older women, and the limited support available to them. I hope that this will be the focus of some of the discussion at the summit in October.
I am pleased that there has been a commitment to investing in professional development and training for the specialist homelessness sector and developing a system-wide, trauma-informed approach to homelessness support services, because this workforce deals with the reality of disadvantage face to face on a daily basis and they need to be adequately equipped to undertake that work.
I am pleased to see other parliamentary agreement items, such as funds for Common Ground and new accommodation facilities for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. However, I do need to emphasise that the amounts that have been put in this budget will not, of course, be enough. There need to be significant capital funds in the following budget to allow actual construction of these facilities.
I note that the government will undertake planning to inform the future design of accommodation and support requirements for clients with high and complex needs. While this is a much-needed initiative, I urge the government to engage in more and constructive discussions with the Uniting Church in Curtin. We know that they are keen to develop a MyHome model on their land in Curtin. The MyHome model is a tried and true model. It is working effectively in Queanbeyan, and we should be appreciative of the expertise that already lies in this area. We should be very appreciative of the goodwill shown by the Uniting Church in Curtin, who I understand are prepared to, in effect, gift the land to this project. My understanding is that they need money for the town planning studies to progress to the next stage.
In closing, I reiterate that we all need a safe, affordable, secure home of some sort. It has to be one of the goals of the ACT government and all Canberrans that everyone in Canberra—in fact, ideally, everyone in the world—has such a home.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (6.06): I concur with a lot of the things Ms Le Couteur said right throughout her speech but particularly towards the back end—that is, the basic human right of having a roof over one’s head is what we are talking about so often in this particular portfolio. This appropriation is a very important element of the 2017-18 budget, with the $46 million contribution towards a total Housing ACT cash revenue figure of almost $145 million. This total will cover most of the $150.5 million in planned expenditures by Housing ACT, but obviously not all of it. In addition, there is a capital injection of $5 million per annum from the national affordable housing agreement funding.