ESTIMATES EXPOSES TURNBULL’S ABYSMAL RECORD ON HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

4 Jun 2018

Budget Estimates have again exposed the Turnbull government’s total lack of credibility when it comes to addressing Australia’s housing affordability and homelessness crisis.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS, TAFE AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

 

ESTIMATES EXPOSES TURNBULL’S ABYSMAL RECORD ON HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

 

Budget Estimates have again exposed the Turnbull government’s total lack of credibility when it comes to addressing Australia’s housing affordability and homelessness crisis.

 

One year on from delivering a Budget that claimed addressing housing affordability as its “centrepiece”, the Turnbull Government has delivered none of the promised relief to young people struggling to buy their first home or the rising number of Australians experiencing increasing levels of rental stress and homelessness.

 

Answers given during Estimates hearings revealed the Turnbull Government has:

 

  • Failed to reach a bilateral agreement with a single state or territory on the new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement, jeopardising the ability of specialist homelessness services to provide critical support services from 1 July 2018.

 

  • No plan to replace thousands of affordable and social housing dwellings that will begin to exit the market in 2019 as the successful National Rental Affordability Scheme winds down, and no plan to transition the tenants to appropriate alternative housing.

 

  • Ignored calls from the Senate Economics Committee, its own Affordable Housing Working Group, and key experts and stakeholders, to urgently address the ‘yield gap’, in order to encourage institutional and community housing providers to invest in and build affordable housing.

 

  • Failed to reach agreement to tackle the unconscionably high number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing overcrowding, poor housing conditions, and homelessness. Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia all remain without any funding certainty for remote indigenous housing and face a possible shortfall of more than $1.5 billion over the next four years.

 

The 2018-19 Budget was the Government’s last opportunity to make a difference after years of neglect in the face of deteriorating housing affordability and increasingly homelessness.

 

Instead, the Turnbull Government doubled down on its perverse choice to maintain negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions for wealth property investors over helping first home buyers struggling to break into the housing market.

 

Only a Labor Government will tackle the housing affordability crisis and put the great Australian dream back within the reach of middle and working class families. Labor has announced a comprehensive series of policies, and will have more to say in the lead up to the next election.

 

MONDAY, 4 JUNE 2018

 

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra