House debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Statements by Members

Indi Electorate: Housing Affordability

1:42 pm

Photo of Helen HainesHelen Haines (Indi, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

Indi, like many parts of regional Australia, is facing an acute housing affordability crisis. It's holding back our economic recovery and taking a huge mental health toll on thousands of people. In Bright, house prices have gone up 117 per cent since 2014. The average house price has gone from $330,000 to $715,000. Bright has seen 24 per cent growth since 2019 alone. A few days ago I read in the Border Mail that a house in Albury-Wodonga, which last sold in 2016 for $335,000, was just sold for $1.36 million. It went up a million dollars in five years. This is rural Australia. Yesterday the ABC reported that Mansfield has had triple its expected population growth over the last two years. The new mayor, James Tehan, has committed to tackling housing as a top priority, and I congratulate him on that, but our local councils can't solve the problem alone. When I took these issues to the Minister for Housing a few months ago he had no solutions for me. The government's main response is to just give the councils a whack about releasing more land. It's a classic 'not our problem' response. We have a housing minister with no housing policy. If the regions are really to grasp the post-COVID economic opportunities, we need real action from the federal government on housing. (Time expired)