QUESTION: Preventative maintenance for public housing

In Question Time, Mark asked the Minister for Human Services whether all of the Government's commitments to public housing over the next 10 years are contained in 'Our Housing Future 2020-2030', including additional funding secured by the Greens through negotiations with the government over the Land Tax (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill.


The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: In the Government's 2019-20 state budget, delivered back in June, it committed $21.1 million over two years for preventative maintenance on older South Australian Housing Authority homes. In November last year, the Greens were pleased to have been able to secure additional ongoing preventative maintenance funding for existing SA Housing Authority homes. This additional funding was secured through negotiations with the government over the Land Tax (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill.

The Treasurer, during the committee stage of the bill on 28 November, outlined this commitment as:

…an additional $7.5 million per annum from 2020-21 to be spent on preventative maintenance and upgrade of existing public housing stock in the South Australian Housing Authority.

On top of this, the Government also committed to installing solar panels on a minimum of 75 per cent of all suitable public housing, that is for existing housing stock, plus installing batteries together with solar panels on a minimum of 75 per cent of new public housing. The Greens secured this commitment with the aim of improving energy efficiency and lowering energy bills for some of South Australia's most vulnerable households.

A month later, on 9 December last year, I received the report 'Our Housing Future 2020-2030'. That states on page 10 that the Government's commitment is to:

…$75 million to start addressing the public housing capital maintenance backlog to 2030 and to improve sustainability and energy efficiency of public housing where appropriate and possible.

I am now trying to reconcile this with the Government's earlier commitments.

My questions of the Minister are:

1. Does the document 'Our Housing Future 2020-2030' include all of the Government's commitments to public housing over the next 10 years?

2. To put the same question a slightly different way, does this document reflect both the additional commitment made in November of an extra $7.5 million for preventative maintenance per annum and the commitment to install solar panels?

3. Are the promised expenditure amounts in Our Housing Future in addition to the allocation in last year's state budget, which was $21.1 million over two years for preventative maintenance, or are the previous budget commitments included in the proposed 10-year spend?

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services): I thank the honourable member for his question. If I can refer to the 2019-20 state budget housing sector package initially, and I think he has referred to some of these figures as well, $21.1 million for preventative maintenance and upgrade programs to improve ageing authority homes is for in the order of 450 properties, including walk-up flats and pre-1968 homes, as well as upgrading a number of walk-up flats.

That particular funding, $21.1 million, is to approximately 250 walk-up flat dwellings and approximately 200 others. My understanding of the $7.5 million per annum over 10 years is that it is in addition to the budget figures, because Our Housing Future is prospective from the date that it was released. If that is not correct, I will come back to the council and provide further details for the honourable member.