Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

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Parliamentary Record 6


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 because that would bring stocks to the level that the government has determined should be the percentage o f public housing compared with the percentage o f private housing. There is no doubt that houses that the Housing Commission has sold have been snapped up eagerly. Following their sale, improvements have generally been made to the houses. People have bought them and either have lived in them privately themselves or have let them. Certainly, they have effected improvements to those houses, many o f which had suffered previously as a result o f vandalism or neglect. However, another 3 Housing Commission dwellings are shortly to be sold in Tennant Creek. It seems to be something of an anomaly that the minister is saying, on the one hand, that the release o f cheap land and houses on to the market in Tennant Creek will lower the value o f private housing in Tennant Creek and, therefore, it is not something that he would support whilst, at the same time, his department continues to sell off public housing in Tennant Creek. One would imagine that this would have the same effect. Certainly, people who are seeking to sell 3-bedroom houses in Tennant Creek have faint cause for joy when they see the department is constantly selling off Housing Commission houses. This has been occurring for a period of months and, as I say, on the last 3 occasions when houses were to be sold, I have been told by the department that they were to be the last. However, that has not been the case. I have written to the minister on this matter and I hope that he will provide some assurance to my constituents that this really is the last sell-off o f Housing Commission dwellings in Tennant Creek. Conversely, we have the problem that, whereas we cannot attract sufficient numbers o f people who qualify under the means test to access those houses, we do have people who are seeking industry housing. They do not want to buy houses in Tennant Creek. There is no practical point in their doing so, but they would like access to houses. They are perfectly prepared to pay commercial rates for them and the government has these houses available. By and large, they would be responsible tenants and would look after the dwellings. They are people on the higher income levels. Despite this situation, the government is consistently selling off these dwellings in Tennant Creek. It is my belief that housing stocks in Tennant Creek are being reduced to a dangerous level. I believe that this sell-off is occasioned by economic constraints within the Housing Commission and not necessarily to achieve the balance that the minister spoke of when this sell-off commenced a couple o f years ago. I believe it has now reached the point where it would cost dollars for the Housing Commission to repair these houses and the department does not want to meet that expenditure. Additionally, probably it would like some money in its coffers from the sale o f those houses. I believe it is hypocritical o f the minister to state that he refuses to allow the release o f inexpensive land in Tennant Creek on the basis that it would lower house prices while, at the same time, his department sells off its housing stock in the town. I believe he owes my constituents an explanation o f why this is occurring. He owes them a guarantee that the sell-off o f these Housing Commission dwellings, which has been welcomed in the town up to a point, will now cease. Mr BAILEY (Wanguri): Mr Deputy Speaker, I would like to cover a couple of topics in the adjournment this evening. During Question Time this morning, the Minister for Transport and W orks and the member for Leanyer spoke about the events that occurred 1851