Page 482 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 19 February 2020

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The housing affordability crisis in Canberra is in large measure a direct consequence of decisions deliberately taken by Andrew Barr …

Minister, what are you doing to fix this?

MS BERRY: I thank Mr Parton for that question. The government has taken a number of initiatives even this week around rental reforms to ensure that people who are in rental accommodation are fairly treated.

Mr Parton: That is going to bring the rents down, I think.

MADAM SPEAKER: Ignore the interjections would be my advice, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I will do my very best to follow your advice and ignore the interjections by Mr Parton. We always welcome people’s comments, including Jon Stanhope’s. It just might not be the case that we necessarily agree with them.

MR PARTON: Minister, when will you acknowledge that your housing affordability policies are failing Canberrans in the private rental market?

MS BERRY: They are not.

MR COE: Minister, is there a housing affordability crisis in Canberra and, if so, what is the cause?

MS BERRY: I think housing affordability is an issue that the country has been grappling with over the last little while and in the ACT we have been challenged by that. That is why we held a summit, to talk with the sector, including builders and the housing industry—Mr Parton attended the summit—to develop a housing plan into the future that addresses issues around housing affordability. There is not one solution. There are multiple activities that the ACT government is undertaking to ensure that people can get into a home of their own.

Mr Coe: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, the question specifically was: is there a housing affordability crisis? The minister has not yet answered that.

MADAM SPEAKER: She made reference to challenges of housing affordability.

Mr Coe: Yes, she did mention that.

MADAM SPEAKER: I think the minister has resumed her seat. Unless you have something further to add, minister? No.


MS LEE: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, Canberra has the highest median house rents in the nation and the highest

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