House debates

Monday, 29 July 2019

Private Members' Business

Tasmania: Housing Affordability

1:13 pm

Photo of Gavin PearceGavin Pearce (Braddon, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

The July 2019 CommSec State of the States report released today confirms the Tasmanian economy is one of the strongest performing in the nation. According to this report, Tasmania ranks third out of all states and territories, our best result in 10 years, as we continue to close the gap on the top spot. The CommSec report shows that Tasmania is leading the nation in relative population growth, the fastest in 27 year; housing finance and starts; vehicle sales; construction work; and business investment. Business investment is vital because the investment demonstrates confidence in our economy, creates jobs for Tasmanians and contributes to our economy and our growth. The CommSec report said:

Tasmania is now solely in third position. In fact the strength on relative population growth, home purchase and construction could see the Apple Isle battling with NSW and Victoria for top position in the year ahead.

The report confirms Tasmanian's economic recovery as a strong Liberal government leads its way forward, making it better for Tasmanians. But we must remember where we were under the last Tasmanian Labor Greens government. We were dead last under Labor. The report released today follows the Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook and the NAB Monthly Business Survey, which both reported Tasmania as having the best business conditions in the nation.

The Hodgman Liberal government is working through its Affordable Housing Strategy to reduce homelessness and provide more homes to Tasmanians in need. The only way to address the demand issue in our state is to increase supply. Last month the state government announced that a further 36 new secure dwellings had come online, thanks to almost $9 million in funding through the Tasmanian government's Affordable Housing Strategy. A further 26 are currently under construction. A total of 62 units will be supplied to Tasmanians in need, such as families escaping family violence, the elderly and people living with disability. Half of these are being delivered through the regional supply program with support from Latrobe Council in my electorate of Braddon. All units meet the silver standard of livable housing design guidelines and are eligible for registration under the NDIS improved liveability specialist disability accommodation payment.

That's not where the good news ends. In the same month, the Hodgman government met its Affordable Housing Strategy stage 1 target to build 372 new social-housing dwellings by 30 June 2019. The targets have been set, and the Tasmanian government is meeting those targets. At both the federal and the state level, we are delivering for Tasmanians. But we know that there is still more to do. That's why we're investing $125 million into stage 2 of our Affordable Housing Strategy, taking the total investment to almost $200 million over eight years. It is the largest ever investment into affordable housing in Tasmania's history.

The word is out that Tasmania is the go-ahead state. This is leading to more people choosing to call Tasmania home. Interstate migration has now reached its highest level in nearly 15 years. This is in stark contrast to the last year of the Labor-Greens government, during which droves of Tasmanians fled the state to seek opportunities elsewhere. The government is also supporting more young Tasmanians in purchasing their own home with the extension of the First Home Owner Grant of $20,000 for eligible first-home owners. We are committed to further cutting red tape and streamlining processes to make it easier, faster and cheaper to build, so that more Tasmanians can own a home.

What's Tasmanian Labor doing to help to increase our affordable housing stock? It is aiming to slow it down to a crawl. Quite rightly, Labor supported the state government's housing land supply legislation in parliament last year, but when it comes to action and to delivering, it's the same old Labor. All it does is delay and play petty political games. This legislation, which was unanimously supported in both houses of parliament, allows for the efficient rezoning of government owned land to provide more affordable housing, sooner. When it comes to the important Huntingfield development, it's nothing but negativity. This development has the possibility of providing over 450 dwellings, infrastructure, open space and local businesses for people in Tasmania. (Time expired)

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