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Thursday, 14 June 1984
Page: 3024

Senator SIBRAA —The Minister representing the Minister for Territories and Local Government would be aware of the acute shortage of land and housing in the Australian Capital Territory and the consequent effect on housing costs. Can he inform the Senate what steps are being taken or are contemplated to ease this crisis?

Senator GIETZELT —It is true that there is an acute shortage of serviced land and housing in the Australian Capital Territory. This has had an alarming effect on the cost of accommodation, particularly private rented accommodation. Rent is increasing disproportionately with the inflation rate because of the general shortage of land and accommodation. Of course, this Government inherited that situation which has concerned the Minister whom I represent in this place. Consequently the Minister convened a land and housing conference in March this year at which a number of propositions were put to him and the Government. As a result, more than 1,100 residential leases will be offered for sale at land auctions during June and July and a further 650 sites will be auctioned later this year. Also, the Government, in association with the Housing Industry Association, has approved the construction of something in excess of 550 standard residential and medium density houses. Construction is scheduled to commence in early 1985.

It is the Government's intention and certainly the Minister's hope that these initiatives will have an effect upon the rising costs of land, rent and accommodation in Canberra and that during the ensuing 12 months an increasing amount of land will be available which will lead to a depreciation in the costs generally for those who need rented accommodation or wish to purchase land.