Michelle Lensink

Hocking Court

I seek leave to make an explanation before asking the Minister for Industry and Trade, representing the Minister for Housing, a question in relation to Hocking Court.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: There was an article published in The Advertiser about six weeks ago which stated:

The two-year delay to a housing complex for low income earners in the city’s southwest corner has been criticised by Adelaide City Council. Lord Mayor Michael Harbison has attacked two housing agencies over the delay in construction of the $2 million shelter on Hocking Court, near Whitmore Square. The South Australian Community Housing Authority and the Multi Agency Community Housing Association are involved in the project, with the council as a third partner. The proposal, passed by the council in December 2002, is to build a three-level complex with five units on each floor.

The council is contributing about $400 000 for land purchase and $100 000 in cash grants. The rest of the money will come from SACHA.

Further down in the article, it states:

The agencies said the checks and balances of public organisations meant certain processes must be met. MACHAS’ executive officer, Matthew Woodward, said the agency was frustrated, but was following correct procedure and there had been no real delays.

It continues:

‘I have no doubt the commercial sector would have done it much faster, but they are not accountable to the taxpayer or the government.’

SACHA general manager, Brendan Moran, said design changes had been made. ‘Major building projects can sometimes involve lengthy processes, and the proposal is now going through (its) final approvals’ he said.

My questions are:

1. How much funding has the state government committed?

2. How much funding has been spent as of close of business yesterday?

3. Precisely what checks and balances was Mr Woodward referring to?

4. What were the design changes that led to this delay?

5. What interim arrangements have been made for prospective residents?

6. In what way are such delays being addressed by the state housing plan?

7. In the light of MACHA’s comments, is the government considering more PPPs with SACHA or some other form of privatisation?

The PRESIDENT: That was quite a range of questions.

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY (Minister for Industry and Trade): Yes; it was a significant range of questions, Mr President. I will refer them to the Minister for Housing, and he can—

The Hon. A.J. Redford: He can choose which ones to answer.

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: I am sure that my colleague endeavours to answer all questions. It is a little rich when members opposite complain about the delay in answering questions when, in the course of the hour of question time, they ask literally dozens of questions in brackets such as that.

The Hon. A.J. REDFORD: I rise on a point of order, Mr President. Gratuitous comments about the nature of questions are not in order. The minister either answers the questions or he refers them on.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order!

Members interjecting:

The Hon. A.J. REDFORD: I have a further point of order.

The PRESIDENT: There is no point of order, so there is no further point of order if there was no point of order to start with.

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: I was simply using the opportunity provided by the honourable member to make a comment. Given the interjections of members opposite at times, I think it appropriate I make the comment that, when such a significant number of questions are asked within a bracket, and it adds up to a very large number of questions during question time, we will try to answer them. I am sure that my colleague the Minister for Housing will endeavour to answer the questions, but members opposite should not complain about the delay when they ask so many.

Wednesday 14 September 2005

In reply to Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (12 April).

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: The Acting Minister for Correctional Services advises that:

The Minister for Housing has provided the following information:

1. The Government’s commitment to the Hocking Place project is up to $2.2 million, inclusive of GST. The contribution of the Adelaide City Council (ACC) is $495 000 in land and cash.

2&3. At the close of business on 20 April 2005, a total of $133 860 had been expended on this joint venture initiative. The checks and balances’ reported in the article in The Advertiser were likely to be a reference to the due process which is required to be followed by the South Australian Community Housing Authority’s (SACHA) Joint Venture Program in the allocation and expenditure of public monies.

4. Negotiations following the close of the tenders involved minor variations in design and technical detailing between the architect and the builder, which is a normal part of the tender assessment and evaluation process.

5. The Multi Agency Community Housing Association is looking to move in a number of people who are currently accommodated as long term boarding house residents (over 10 years residing in boarding houses) and who are considered more suited to more independent arrangements than in a boarding house. In other words, most of the prospective residents for Hocking Place are currently residents of boarding houses.

6. The State Housing Plan proposes the development of new models for financing and building affordable accommodation. The new Affordable Housing Innovations Unit is a further example of the Government’s commitment to explore partnership opportunities between the State Government, the private sector, not-for-profit organisations and local government.

7. SACHA will continue to work in partnerships with local communities and the private sector to provide long-term, affordable housing with community support.

SACHA has been building homes under the Joint Venture Program since 1995. Since that time, over 50 organisations—local councils, Church groups, aged care organisations and organisations working with disabled people have collaborated with Government to build more than 300 homes.

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