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Home loans made clear

Burke weighs into housing debate

By Kerces 25 July 2005 11

Jacqui Burke is doing her part to keep up the debate about ACT Housing with two releases out this morning.

The first (complete with Hansard transcriptions) applauds the government’s “backflip” regarding security of tenure. Mrs Burke says that

The ACT Opposition has asked many questions of the Government in the Legislative Assembly regarding security of tenure and the response has always been lifetime tenure.

Apparently the government has now decided to review this decision. Mrs Burke’s views on the matter are that,

“What we need is a system that is far more responsive and flexible to meeting the urgent needs of the most vulnerable in our community.

“Contrary to spurious claims made by the Greens and Labor, the Liberal Opposition would not evict people paying full market rent from their government house.”

Her other release tells anyone interested that ACT Housing does not have a list of all its properties.

“What the Government has admitted [says Mrs Burke] is that its Minister, at any given time, apparently cannot identify where all the public housing properties are within the ACT.”

Interestingly, the Liberals seem to make a lot of requests under the FoI Act whenever they want to know things. It could just be my inexperience in things politic, but I thought the government was supposed to give briefings to the opposition on various matters. Evidently ACT Housing isn’t one of these. And I wonder if the opposition has to pay as exorbitantly as the media for their FoI requests?

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Burke weighs into housing debate
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Maelinar 12:28 pm 27 Jul 05


‘security of income assessment tenure’ hot on the debate list..

Good idea JB, just thinking of how they’ll it up

(the only vowel for sale at the moment is a u)

Jazz 9:11 am 26 Jul 05

interesting approach JB. one that could probably work as long as the govt got the income assessment right.

johnboy 7:48 pm 25 Jul 05

I’m still waiting to hear what’s wrong with combining security off tenure with a secure percentage of income to be paid as rent?

Charge 25% of income regardless of how much that comes to be and let people figure the rest out for themselves.

The savings on valuers alone would buy more housing properties.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart 2:00 pm 25 Jul 05

Even if there is no list of government properties, there is a very important list of people who have to pay rent on government properties (whether the government know they own them or not).

OK, I’m just being cynical now.

Maelinar 12:57 pm 25 Jul 05

For interests sake, when was the last time the general public were asked their opinion of anything ?

The Monarchy/Republic referendum doesn’t count either as that was more media driven than by Government.

So now that we have established that the Govt are going to do whatever they like without any consultation – as they have done since anybody can remember, the focus should be towards making sure that the policy is correct.

The correct policy is security of tenure, until your situation has changed to the point that you can afford your own house or your own mortgage (I’ll let the govt work out the minor details concerning where the line is drawn – I’m sure the statistical information has already been gathered).

Those people on the current ‘security of tenure’ arrangements who fall outside the eligibility criteria can sign departure agreements ‘in the interests of maintaining the integrity and intent of supply of Public Housing’

It’s all possible, all we need is some corporate backbone to be displayed, unfortunately that’s not in the 5 selection criterion used by the Public Service/Government so you won’t find any there.

simto 12:35 pm 25 Jul 05

I’d be shocked if there isn’t, somewhere, records of every single property that the ACT government owns.

At the same time, I dunno whether it’s necessarily appropriate to have that list accessible to the public – maybe to the extent of saying “a generic unit in a specific block” but not to the extent of saying “this specific unit in this specific block”.

Thumper 12:09 pm 25 Jul 05


I thinking more along the lines of public accountability. Not people who are renting. A fine line I guess.

Chris 12:04 pm 25 Jul 05

Bet Deb Foskey would like to kill whoever let the cat outta the bag on her (cheap rent) Yarralumla abode.

Jazz 11:54 am 25 Jul 05

why do you want one thumper? there are a lot of people in public housing who would not want it known they are renting

Thumper 11:36 am 25 Jul 05

Is there any real point asking the current government about anything?

It does seem that they will do whatever they want and stuff everyone else.

I do find it hard to believe there is no register of public houses.

Jazz 11:21 am 25 Jul 05

you should know that such a list hasn’t been created because it isn’t terribly useful in managing properties, not that it can’t be created should the need arise. there are also some complications in compiling such a listing as you’d need to specify what to do with properties that are in the process of sale, or those being purchased but not yet recorded in electronic systems.

“I do find it hard to believe that there is not a list of all public housing properties or a list cannot be created given that there is the ACT Cadastre (a specialised database) which holds all details of all properties, public and private, in the Territory.”

The Cadastre maintained by urban services does not (at this stage) have any input by Housing ACT (might have had housing not moved portfolio’s). As such, the Cadastre does not identify ownership of housing blocks. There is a privacy issue with doing so as it would make the status of public housing tenancies, um.. public knowledge. A situation that you will agree, is something the liberals wouldn’t want either. The capacity to provide maps of public housing properties quickly and cheaply left that organisation when I did.

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