House debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024


Help to Buy Bill 2023, Help to Buy (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2023; Second Reading

11:22 am

Photo of Dan TehanDan Tehan (Wannon, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | Hansard source

It's a pleasure to rise to speak on the Help to Buy Bill 2023, because this bill has more questions than it has answers. This bill has so little detail it's not funny. This bill requires so many links and the cooperation of so many that it's hard to see that it will achieve anything it is setting out to do. As a matter of fact, this bill should be taken away from this House, and the government should start again.

As the previous speaker has very eloquently noted, how can the government be bringing in 1.6 million people over four years and yet have policies in place which are leading to a decline in housing starts? Just to give this House a sense of what is happening, 1.6 million people is the size of the City of Adelaide. We're bringing in that many people in the space of four years. Where are they going to live? It's a very simple question that the government needs to answer. Where are they going to live? All we're seeing at the moment is housing prices going through the roof, rents going through the roof and rental vacancies collapsing. At the same time—and I have this straight from my own electorate—timber mills provide the wood that goes into the houses, but there's no demand for the timber that they're producing, because no-one is building houses. It is a calamity.

What does the government come up with? It comes up with this Help to Buy Bill scheme. What does this involve? It involves the government taking equity in your home loan. The first question we need to ask the government is: why are you putting your own program in place when the states already have equity schemes in place? The thing about it is not only do the states have their own equity schemes but they're not fully utilised. There are actually gaps and vacancies in the equity schemes at the state and territory level. Why is the federal government saying, 'We're going to come in and put our own in place?'

The Albanese government continues to, I should say, bemuse—though I think bemuse is the wrong word, because this is about people, especially young people, trying to get into homes. The Albanese Labor government keeps betraying what it said to the Australian people before the election. Before the election the Albanese Labor Party did not say that their Help to Buy scheme would be dependent on the cooperation of the states and territories. So for them to be able to introduce their scheme and for it to work properly they need every state and territory to come on board.

The one thing they've done is say they would pay for all the expenses around it, so I assume what the states and territories will do is say, 'We had our schemes in place, which weren't being fully utilised, so we'll take the money from the Commonwealth to pay for our own schemes because—as many members would know, and I'm sure the member for Bradfield would know this clearly—many of the states are going broke due to their economic mismanagement, and I particularly point to Victoria. It beggars belief, but the Victorian state government are heading towards $200 billion in debt. They would see Anthony Albanese coming from a long, long way, and they would say thank you for helping us! As we know, Dan Andrews and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese are very close mates. We're starting to see that play out in the way this mob governs—


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