House debates

Monday, 11 September 2023

Questions without Notice


2:20 pm

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

My question is to the Treasurer. How is the Albanese Labor government delivering more homes for Australians and how will this help strengthen the economy?

2:21 pm

Photo of Jim ChalmersJim Chalmers (Rankin, Australian Labor Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I acknowledge and thank the member for Macnamara, a champion for his whole community but particularly for the substantial number of renters in the electorate of Macnamara. This is a really important day for housing policy in this country. After months of delay, the Housing Australia Future Fund will now be locked into legislation. This is the biggest investment in social and affordable housing for more than a decade. I pay tribute to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Housing, and I thank the crossbench for getting on board as well so that we can make this progress together. I pay tribute in particular to the housing minister, who, with her characteristic humility, took none of the credit for the substantial amount of work that she does in this area.

This is not just a big win for the government. Much more importantly than that, it is a big win for Australians, who desperately need more homes to be built. This will mean an extra 30,000 homes for people who desperately need them, often the most vulnerable people in our communities. Housing costs are such a big and important part of the cost-of-living pressures that people are facing. To put it bluntly, there are not enough homes, and rents are too high. That's why the government is focused on a broad and ambitious housing agenda and why the passage of the Housing Australia Future Fund is absolutely critical. It sits alongside, as the minister said, our Housing Accord, the Social Housing Accelerator and the biggest increase in Commonwealth rent assistance in three decades—billions of dollars being invested into the housing challenge we have in our economy and in our society, building more homes, more supply, and taking some of the edge off rents, with the Commonwealth rent assistance increase.

This is another way that we are addressing the serious cost-of-living pressures that people are facing in a way that takes some of the edge off inflation rather than adding to the inflationary pressures that we have in our economy. We understand that people are under pressure. We understand that housing is a big part of that, and that's why today's progress is so important. This is how we work for Australia to build more homes, despite the angry and nasty negativity that we see from those opposite.