BARR GOVERNMENT’S MIXED MESSAGES ON AGEING PUBLIC HOUSING

The Barr government needs to explain why it has purchased ageing properties in O’Connor for public housing tenants at a cost of $2.5 million, while at the same time it continues to run the argument that ageing properties along Northbourne Avenue need to be demolished, Shadow Minister for Housing Nicole Lawder said today.

“The Barr government needs to admit that the real reason they’re offloading Northbourne Avenue public housing stock is to suit their light rail agenda, not because they’re ageing,” Ms Lawder said.

“Today in the Assembly Minister Berry confirmed that Housing ACT recently purchased a property in O’Connor for public housing at a cost of $2.5 million. That property was built in 1958, making it 57 years old. This suggests the government isn’t too concerned about ageing public housing stock.

“Much of the Northbourne Avenue public housing such Owen Flats, was also built around this time and is a prime example of ageing stock, but it’s apparently not good enough for the government. The fact is the government has allowed public housing along Northbourne Avenue to decay.

“The government is buying properties built in the 1950s for public housing while at the same time demolishing public housing properties in the same area that were also built in the 1950s. This government is saying one thing about renewal and doing another. Minister Berry needs to explain,” Ms Lawder concluded.