Question without Notice to the Minister for Communities and Housing
3 December, 2020
My question is to the Minister for Communities and Housing. The government has so far failed to release the 2020 Social Housing Register amid increased housing stress due to the COVID-19 recession and speculation that the list has blown out significantly. When will the government release Queensland’s 2020 Social Housing Register, which is now months overdue?
I thank the member for the question and I recognise her election to this place. I want to put on record my acknowledgement of the former member for South Brisbane, who was probably one of the most progressive women in modern-day politics. I know she will be very much missed by the people of South Brisbane.
I know firsthand the importance of social housing, given that I grew up in public housing in the wonderful suburb of Woodridge. Back then, it was a very different set of circumstances to what we see today. A housing register is a register that allows us to be able to support people very differently to when my parents first moved into social housing 46 years ago. The housing register allows us to support people in many different ways—not just into social housing but into affordable housing, into private rental et cetera. That register holds a lot of private information and, as we all know, those data files are published twice a year, in February and September.
In March this year, the Office of the Information Commissioner conducted an audit and provided a recommendation on the department’s approach to preserving the privacy of individuals in the publication of open data. Quality assurance has also been provided to the department to ensure the action taken to remediate the data addresses the OIC recommendations to minimise risks and were effective. As a further control, the open datasets are provided to the digital business group in corporate services to review prior to publication. These additional controls—which are very important for people’s private information—have resulted in a delay to the publication of the open datasets for 2019-20, but that will happen very soon.
The private information of people who are on the housing register is incredibly important, and we are taking the recommendations of the Office of the Information Commissioner very seriously to ensure that we take good care of people’s information. The housing register continues to be an important tool to support people in this state. As I said, it is very different to what my parents experienced 46 years ago. This is a register that helps us a great deal to be able to support individuals, families and couples to secure safe and affordable housing into the future.