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Rudd Government in spin cycle on public housing projects.



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Fri, 24th July 2009

RUDD GOVERNMENT IN SPIN CYCLE ON PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS

Scott Morrison MP

Shadow Minister for Housing and Local Government

Federal Shadow Minster for Housing and Local Government, Scott Morrison said today the Rudd Government’s

claims that their public housing programme is on track is nothing but spin, with around half the number of houses

underway in July than is required to achieve their timetable.

At the recent COAG meeting in Darwin on July 2, it was reported that 594 new homes were underway*. In order

to achieve the balance of their targeted 20,000 homes under construction by December 31, 2010 the

Government must start, on average, 35 new homes every day.

This means that during the first 22 days of July, they should have started almost 800 homes, in addition to the

594 reported to COAG. Instead, based on their announcement of their 1000th home yesterday, they have started

just 400 homes in July - around half the rate required to meet their target.

“When Kevin Rudd puts on a hard hat he needs to tell Australians the truth about the real performance of these

stimulus programmes, not more spin,” Mr Morrison said.

“The Rudd Government is racking up $315 billion of public debt as a result of these types of projects and the

Australian public has a right to know if their money is being well spent, on time and on budget,” he said.

“The Rudd Government has already been exposed for their failure to deliver on intervention funding to build new

homes in remote indigenous communities, and has been caught trying to spin their way out of trouble. Now they

are trying on a new spin about public housing.

“On June 25 I lodged a question on notice in Parliament, for an update on the number of homes started in May,

following testimony to Senate Estimates from department officials who stated these details would be available

from June 23. We are still yet to receive a reply from the Minster. Today I have submitted a formal request for the

figures for June. In the absence of these official reports we can only rely on the COAG communiqué.

“Minister Plibersek needs to be accountable to Parliament for the performance of the $6.4 billion of debt she is

spending on public housing. The Rudd Government’s refusal to respond to parliamentary questions, but instead

engage in media stunts like yesterday as a surrogate is unacceptable.

“I call on the Minister to release publicly the details of all public housing projects commenced on a regular

monthly basis, including their locations, the number of dwelling units and the value of funds committed.

“Only then can we have any real sense of the performance of this programme, instead of being hostage to the

Government’s hard hat spin machine,” Mr Morrison said.