Federation Chamber BILLS Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2012-2013 Consideration in Detail

Mr HUSIC (Chifley—Government Whip) (19:50): I want to pick up on that issue. In particular, housing affordability in Western Sydney is a major issue and has remained so for some time. I find one case in particular with constituents in my area: when constituents are not looking to purchase but simply to rent space—to rent somewhere to live—they are finding it harder and harder to do so in parts of the Chifley electorate because of a squeeze in housing stock. We talked about social housing, or the minister responded to the shadow minister in relation to the issue on social housing. I am proud of the fact that over 200 homes were built as a result of the stimulus spending in the Chifley area to ease the accommodation pressures in trying to find somewhere to live. For example, one project was delivered by the affordable housing co-op in Mount Druitt. I was delighted to be involved in the opening of that. What I particularly like about it is that this is affordable housing that is of a quality standard, allowing people to ensure a degree of dignity in the place that they live. It is a modern facility itself and allows them to have a roof over their heads as well. Some people in that were basically on public housing waiting lists for over 10 years.

Another project that I was particularly proud to see funded in my area was through Marist Youth Care. It was giving an opportunity for people who are homeless. The minister made reference a few moments ago to homelessness; I suspect that a lot of those figures are actually in effect camouflaged because people are couch surfing. I do see that and get reports of that from non-government organisations working in the Chifley area. One project in particular got young people who were homeless and teamed them up with builders to build homes. Once these young people had been trained up they got to move into them. One particular site in Shalvey that Marist Youth Care oversaw was a fantastic initiative. It was a very lateral way of thinking about an issue, providing skills and a roof over people's heads. That was a really good project I was very happy with.

Another thing that I have been proud to see happen in our local area was something we were able to draw out of the housing affordability fund, to fast-track the rollout of infrastructure in Ropes Crossing. It was part of the old ADI development—Australian Defence Industries—with huge parts of land, 1,500 hectares, with part conserved and part released for housing. We saw a number of residents there able to benefit from housing stock that was reduced in price as a result of the investment we made.


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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley


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