House debates

Monday, 18 March 2024

Statements by Members

Housing Affordability

5:29 pm

Photo of Stephen BatesStephen Bates (Brisbane, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

In Brisbane and around the country, we are in an acute housing crisis. Today I would like to share the story of one Brisbane constituent in particular, Michelle, who lives on the north side of Brisbane. She's a single mum and essential worker—a nurse. Over the past two years, Michelle has had her rent increased by 150 per cent and is now spending more than 60 per cent of her income just on rent. My team spoke to Michelle on her birthday. She called and said that she couldn't afford to celebrate in any way. She couldn't even afford dinner that night. This hardworking nurse is faced with the prospect of being unable to remain a reasonable distance away from her child's school or her workplace. Faced with diving into debt or homelessness, Michelle expects she will need to leave Brisbane for somewhere more affordable.

Essential workers have been priced out of our cities, and this is completely unsustainable. The Greens have proposed a public property developer that would see the government build homes to sell and rent at below-market prices. This would help so many first homebuyers and renters like Michelle. We need ambition when it comes to tackling the housing crisis, and right now we are not seeing it from this government. People like Michelle and people right across Brisbane deserve so much better.