House debates

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Statements by Members


9:57 am

Photo of Josh BurnsJosh Burns (Macnamara, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to talk about an issue that I think every member of this place and every member of the parliament is grappling which is how we help Australians with housing affordability. In my electorate people are really being pushed, not only with the rising interest rates, but also with the rising rents. Clearly with the rising interest rates there is an increase in the amount of repayments that people are making. I believe that that's having a flow-on effect with the rental market. It's hard to measure exactly what's happening, but some of the economics that I see playing out are that while the price of housing might be coming down slightly, the price of repayments is remaining steady and high, and for many people they are going up. The flow-on effect is that a lot of people are being pushed into the rental market. Post COVID we have brought back a lot of people into our labour markets, which is making the rental vacancy rates extremely low. In my electorate what that means is that we have people in St Kilda whose rents have gone up by 20 to 40 per cent. In Southbank, one of the iconic parts of my electorate, rents are going up dramatically. In many parts and in many places we are hearing of rent prices going up by 40 per cent. It is not only a huge pressure on people and on workers to be able to pay their rent, as the first point, but also a huge pressure for people that will mean that getting into the housing market is going to become less and less attainable.

There are no easy fixes, but one of the things that we have to do is work with our states and territories to ensure that protections for renters are as strong as they can be, but also work with states and territories to build as many homes as we possibly can. We need to be working together across all layers of government to ensure the maximum amount of housing supply. We have an opportunity to get the federal government back to the table on the affordability of housing with the Housing Future Fund that will literally put half a billion dollars of federal government money to complement the states and territories into the construction of social housing, into the construction of affordable housing, domestic violence shelters, housing for veterans. It's so important that we build as many homes as we can, or we face Australians facing even more pain in an already pressurised housing environment.

Photo of Ross VastaRoss Vasta (Bonner, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has now concluded.