Where has the money gone Minister?


Shadow Minister for Housing Mark Parton is calling on the Minister to explain to Canberrans where $699 million of budget promises for public housing has gone, noting the number of public housing dwellings in the ACT has fallen 1.8 per cent between 2011 and 2021, from 11,063 to 10,859.

Last month, the Canberra Liberals highlighted that despite this money being announced for Public Housing Renewal across three budget periods from 2015-2018, only $80.871 million of the promised $699 million was appropriated through to 2020.

Mr Parton said the response from the Housing Minister was farcical and used only to attack the Canberra Liberals instead of clearly highlighting where the money has gone.

“It is clear only $81 million can be accounted for and the Minister refuses to clearly explain to media and the public where the rest of the announced $699 million has gone,” Mr Parton said.

“Surely if the Minister was so confident the $699 million had been spent as promised, she would have no problem coming out publicly and explaining it.

“The Minister has also failed to explain how much revenue, and how many in-kind dwelling transfers from developers the government received from the sale of public housing land in prime locations across Canberra.”

Through the redevelopment program, Housing ACT transferred 1,288 properties to the Suburban Land Agency but only got 1,094 dwellings back, a net loss of 194 dwellings.

“So while the government says the value of those 1,094 dwellings transferred to Housing ACT was $457 million, it started the program by taking 1,288 Housing ACT sites worth $222 million, meaning there was a net return of only $235 million to Housing ACT, and 194 fewer public housing dwellings.

“The Minister must front up and answer these questions herself and explain why, if the $699 million has been spent as she claims, the number of public housing dwellings in the ACT has fallen between 2011 and 2021,” Mr Parton concluded.