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

There is still time. Maybe by the two-year mark we will have seen houses beginning to be demolished. Like I said, you would be bemused if it weren't so serious.

What is it that the government could be doing? They could be taking a leaf out of our book, because, when we were in government, we were able to deliver new houses. As a matter of fact, our schemes helped support and contribute to the building of more than 300,000 purchases of homes. That is a track record that those opposite should have looked at and should have said, 'Okay, how can we build on that?'

Just to give you an idea—because these ideas might help: the coalition has supported almost 60,000 first home buyers and single parent families into homeownership through the Home Guarantee Scheme; protected the residential construction industry with more than 137,000 HomeBuilder applications, generating $120 billion of economic activity; provided $2.9 billion of low-cost loans to community housing providers to support 15,000 social and affordable dwellings, saving $470 million in interest payments, to be reinvested in more affordable housing; unlocked 6,900 social and affordable market dwellings through the coalition's $1 billion infrastructure facility, to make housing supply more responsive to demand; and established the First Home Super Saver Scheme, helping 27,600 first home buyers accelerate their deposit savings through superannuation.

Any of those schemes could have been picked up by the government and they would have delivered outcomes. We wouldn't be standing here now sadly mocking the government for not having facilitated, through this program, the building of one new dwelling—not one new dwelling. It is a shame and it's a pity, and it's actually leading to dislocation, it's leading to disharmony and it's leading to communities just asking what the hell is going on. If you're a young Australian at the moment, you are seriously now asking yourself: will I ever be able to own a home? And that is not a question that we want young Australians to be asking at the moment. What we need is for the government to provide answers to young Australians—and it's not just young Australians. There are many Australians right across the board, in whatever circumstances, who are now looking to purchase a home, and they look at the affordability question and they say, 'That is now beyond me.' As a matter of fact, the median wage now will not support you being able to buy a medium-value house. And that is wrong.

We need to address this and we need the government to act. They're not acting through this bill; as a matter of fact, they're making a bad situation worse, because the maths just do not add up. The questions are not being answered and it is another debacle. This is the absolute responsibility of the government. They need to do better and they need to do better quickly.


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