Ministerial Statements - Social Housing

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When this government went to Queenslanders and asked them to vote for a new way for Queensland, we made it clear that we would be a government that delivered essential services for Queenslanders. We made it clear that outsourcing and privatisation of essential services is not our policy. To be clear, the mass transfer of public housing assets was not and is not our policy. Members on this side of the House, and Queenslanders more broadly, believe that public housing assistance is a responsibility of government. Queenslanders believe in the important role of government in the delivery of essential services. Our principles have always been clear. They have been clear in this place and they were clear when we stood up before the last election and said that we were opposed to asset giveaways and the privatisation of essential services.

We have been preparing to finalise our new 10-year Housing Strategy for Queenslanders. That strategy will recognise the role of government in housing assistance for all vulnerable Queenslanders. It will recognise that role in Logan, on the Gold Coast, in Mount Isa and in Redlands. In fact, it will recognise that role across the state.

The mass privatisation of housing is a legacy policy of the previous government and it is gone. As a responsible government having inherited that legacy, we commit to deliver $100 million worth of public housing this yeara plan to deliver more affordable housing, a plan to redevelop Queensland housing on a precinct-by-precinct basis and build better neighbourhoods.

We worked through the baggage of the LNP privatisation legacy to Queenslanders in the responsible and careful way that Queenslanders would expect of a good governmentin a prudent and measured way. This included the former minister, the Minister for Science and Innovation, taking the sensible step of initiating an independent readiness review of those legacy programs in late 2015. 

Let me be clear: Labor believes in the responsibility of government to deliver essential services to Queenslanders. Queenslanders expect government to build better neighbourhoods and more sustainable and prosperous communities. I am advised that this year over 109,950 Queenslanders looked to this government for support. We will not turn our backs on them. Some 36,000 of those individuals were aged under 18. We on this side of the House understand that a measure of our society is how we treat the most vulnerable among us. We will not turn our backs on them. We will build better neighbourhoods. 

Our 2016-17 program will support 2,000 trades jobs across the state. Job creation is our responsibility, as is housing. In Logan just last Tuesday I met with 85 Queensland based building contractors. I outlined our early plans involving the beautification, upgrade and refurbishment of existing housing. I announced the largest maintenance and upgrade investment for housing since Labor was last in government. We will deliver $34 million worth of upgrades and maintenance in Logan over the next two years. This investment will support real jobs in Loganreal jobs for Queenslandersa commitment to housing investment, better neighbourhoods and real jobs. That is the measure by which Queenslanders will assess this government. 

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