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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2527 ..

… the one thing that doesn’t lie is the movement in price and the rising dividend the government is receiving … I see it’s a problem of the government’s own making, because it causes an economic and social problem.

Dr Ahmed concluded that the government had made things worse as its exclusive control of zoning and pricing of land has driven up prices.

Why has the ACT government made housing affordability worse?

MS BERRY: I thank Mr Parton for the question. However, I would say that it is this government’s view that land in the ACT should be managed by the ACT government. I would much rather see land and profits from land sales going to the community via the government than going into the pockets of private developers and others. Whilst private developers do have a role in this town, and they are providing some developments, I would much rather see funds for housing and land development go back to the ACT government and then be provided for services for the community.

With regard to housing affordability, Mr Parton, too, attended the summit last year and was part of the discussions, I believe, on all of the ideas that have come through from all parts of the community about how we resolve this very complex issue. As the government has been working towards developing a strategy to manage housing affordability and other issues to support people who are homeless or experiencing homelessness, it has been taking action on a whole raft of measures, including such measures as: providing taxes on vacant premises to, hopefully, get more houses into the market; setting up an affordable housing website so that people can enrol and register for affordable housing which is highly targeted and goes to the people who need it; and a setting a land supply target of 4,000 a year, which is significant and will make a difference for people to be able to get into homes of their own.

MR PARTON: Irrespective of arguments about developers not being involved, why is the ACT government continuing to receive an increasingly rising dividend as housing affordability and homelessness is getting worse?

MS BERRY: As I said, I would much rather that the funding returns to the community via the ACT government to build new hospitals and to build schools for our growing population in the ACT. I guess that what the Liberal Party is asking for here is some kind of reaching into and mucking around with the market. If that is the suggestion—that we actually muck around with the market—that will mean that people who have purchased homes will have mortgages above what other people are paying in the future. If that is the suggestion, I will be very interested to see the Liberal Party’s affordable housing policy. They have not had one previously, and I look forward to seeing it when it is developed and seeing that it will include some market interference by the Liberal Party around housing and land the ACT.

Opposition members interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe and Ms Lawder, please. Minister, have you concluded?

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