Page 4322 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017

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Government—housing and homelessness summit

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, can you update the Assembly on the outcomes of the ACT housing and homelessness summit held last week in Canberra?

MS BERRY: The housing and homelessness summit that was held last Tuesday, 17 October, came at the end of a seven-week consultation period where the government received over 6,000 interactions from individuals around building a new housing strategy in the ACT. I was personally very pleased with how the summit went. It was a lot different from any kinds of summits that I have attended.

The feedback so far from participants was that they enjoyed the interactive elements and the process that was conducted during the summit. Many of those who attended had already been part of the consultation leading up to the summit and were happy that their input in the lead-up was being considered and discussed during the summit with a whole bunch of different stakeholders. A lot of the items and information will be collated and there have been a number of new and innovative ideas that have been shared and discussed already.

One of the most valuable aspects of the summit was the opportunity for networking across all community sectors and the realisation that everybody had something to contribute to help improve housing outcomes for some of the most disadvantaged members of our community. In fact, one of the opportunities highlighted to me was the chance for people to have conversations with people who were actually building homes, developers who might be interested in building an affordable housing product—having conversations that they would never had the chance to have had they not been brought together in a different environment and had the chance to have a conversation about building a new housing strategy for the ACT. I want to thank the Canberra community for being part of the conversation so far.

MS ORR: Minister, what is the significance of the diversity of voices that were heard at the summit?

MS BERRY: As I said, it was a great opportunity to explore and further investigate some of the suggestions that had already been raised in the conversations leading up to the summit. The government wants proposals that come forward to be highly collaborative, co-design approaches, and that is certainly what I saw coming out of the summit. By raising awareness of the issues and encouraging ownership of some of the issues within the community and the opportunities for improvement, a true collaboration between government, business and the community sector continued to be the priority and the conversation that I was part of and heard during the summit last week.

The participants at the summit were representative of some 125 different organisations that had participated in the community consultation so far. The summit was a great example of Canberra being a socially inclusive community and of the government’s desire to work with and for all Canberrans.

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