Andrew Barr’s terse warning over botched buy of public housing

It was a terse warning, written in the neat hand of Chief Minister Andrew Barr after the territory was forced to shell out millions of dollars more than it planned on houses it originally did not want.

“Some lessons should be learnt here,” it read. “Keep me informed on the process please.”

Now, almost two years after the ACT’s public housing renewal taskforce was forced to buy out an entire complex of townhouses due to a heavy-handed application of the territory’s salt-and-pepper policy, documents released under freedom of information documents have revealed the extent of the bungle.

The transaction drew the ire of the Auditor-General, as it defied advice from Housing ACT which warned against buying public housing in bodies corporate because of volatile ongoing fees and the possibilty of tenants being stigmatised by other residents.

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