Page 5416 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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MRS KIKKERT: Minister, what exactly is the new procedure that has been developed to fix this communication problem?

MR RATTENBURY: I will take that on notice.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, now that you have clear lines of communication in place, will you assure the Assembly that no more Bimberi detainees will be put at potential risk by late health checks?

MR RATTENBURY: As Mrs Dunne may have heard in my first answer, I made it clear that I expect this will not happen again.

Housing—affordable housing scheme

MRS JONES: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. On 16 November CityNews published a letter from Mr Jon Stanhope to the affordable housing project team. In it he noted the low number of blocks for detached housing available to families on incomes below $100,000. Mr Stanhope claims that the government refused to answer and says:

One can nevertheless assume that the two most likely explanations for refusing to respond to the request are that the information either doesn’t exist or if it does exist that the government has reasons for not wanting it to see the light of day.

Minister, does the information exist or does the government not want Mr Stanhope to have it?

MS BERRY: I am not aware of the request that has been made. Of course, as much as we like to hear from the opposition, we also like to hear the views of former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope. I will have to come back with the detail on the second part of that question, but I will take the opportunity to talk about some of the things the ACT government is doing around housing and homelessness in the ACT which were announced at the housing summit. They include the start-up innovation fund for HomeGround and a submarket rental real estate model, as well as applying land tax to vacant investment properties from next year to encourage more rentals into the market.

We have set affordable public and community housing targets and improved targeting so they go where they are needed. We have been advocating very strongly and very publically for federal government tax reform and for the federal government to make a bold and courageous decision to use the tax levers in their control to make changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax in the same way that the ACT government made the bold and courageous decision to make changes to the tax levers we are responsible for to ensure that more people can get into housing of their own.

MRS JONES: Minister, how many houses are available in the ACT on average that are affordable to families with an income under $100,000, for example, entry level three-bedroom, one-bathroom houses?

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