CONFUSION REIGNS - GOVERNMENT IN KNOTS OVER HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

1 Jun 2017

A Budget estimates hearing today has exposed the confusion that characterises the Turnbull government’s approach to housing affordability.

CONFUSION REIGNS - GOVERNMENT IN KNOTS OVER HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

A Budget estimates hearing today has exposed the confusion that characterises the Turnbull government’s approach to housing affordability.

The Turnbull government has no dedicated Housing Minister, resulting in confusion over who has responsibility for housing policies.

Three or four different answers were given when it was asked which Minister would handle negotiations with states and territories over a new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.

First it was ‘yet to be determined’. Then we were told the Treasurer has written to state and territory counterparts. Then we were told Minister Porter and Senator Seselja would hold discussions with the other jurisdictions. Then we were told the Treasurer would take the lead.

This is exactly the level of confusion we expect from a government which doesn’t have a dedicated Housing Minister and has wasted four years in office while a housing affordability crisis has stared it in the face.

Labor will have a dedicated Minister for Housing for Homelessness, as announced in April, and as we have had in every Labor government since Chifley’s.

Such an important area of public policy demands a level of focus that the Coalition is unable to deliver. Australians struggling with housing stress and homelessness deserve better.

THURSDAY, 1 JUNE 2017