Tuesday, 29 November 2022
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Fifty-five per cent of my electorate of Brisbane are renters. It is getting harder for people to find a home to rent. Individuals are forced to couch surf, and entire families are living out of their cars. We've heard about real estate agents in Brisbane advising landlords to increase rents by over 20 per cent, and the annual Rental Affordability Index out today has revealed that 58 per cent of private renters are in housing stress. Prime Minister, will you commit to putting national rental standards, including an end to no-grounds evictions and a two-year freeze on rent increases, on the agenda at the National Cabinet meeting next week?
I thank the member for his question. Yes, indeed, there are challenges of housing affordability in Australia. We accept that. What we have done is to accept responsibility for making changes that the national government can do. There is the national government; there are state governments, which are responsible for many of the issues that the member raises; and local governments are also responsible, in terms of whether they choose to support affordable housing. I've said before that, in my area, fortunately, the Labor councillors support affordable housing. Unfortunately, members of the Greens party and some others have failed to ever support any affordable housing measures, because they say that increases in density are bad.
I'd encourage the member to come to the Mirvac project in my electorate which is on the corner of Marrickville Road and Livingstone Road. They can see there a great example of a project that brought an increase in density, and, with the support of the council, provided a 100 per cent privately-paid-for public library that has won awards for architecture, and not just in Australia; it is now winning some global awards as well. This is an example where the local government worked together with the state New South Wales government, because it was the old Marrickville hospital site, to get an increase in density, close to public transport, which is also allowing for an increase in affordable housing. So I'd say to the member—
I was asked about housing affordability, and what I'm doing is pointing towards different methods whereby you can have more affordable housing by cooperation, including with local and state governments, which goes directly to what the member asked, because he didn't ask me about any actual federal government responsibility. But I'll tell you what the federal government's doing. We have a housing accord, bringing together the Master Builders Associations of Australia, and every state and territory government, including the Palaszczuk government in Queensland, with the Commonwealth, in order to promote housing development, in order to put downward pressure, in order to provide more support for affordable housing.
Affordable housing is a challenge. There aren't simple, easy solutions. If there were, government would've just adopted them. What we have is a series of measures, all of which are combined to ensure that we take action to make housing more affordable for Australians.