Senate debates

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Housing Affordability

3:22 pm

Photo of Catryna BilykCatryna Bilyk (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Once again today we heard Senator Brandis not even attempt to answer the questions that were asked of him. We had the diatribe about everything in the world being the fault of the Labor Party and what terrible people we are, but it just goes to show exactly how out of touch with ordinary Australians both he and the Prime Minister, for the moment—I think he has a limited tenure there, I might add—are. It goes to show that they do not have an answer and they have no desire, really, to find an answer or to fix the issue of housing affordability. Senator Brandis was asked, 'Who was correct—was it the Treasurer or the PM—regarding housing price changes under the Labor Party policy?' which is a fantastic policy for housing, and he could not give an answer.

So, once again, there is lots of dysfunction, chaos and division within the government. Their attempt at a scare campaign on Labor Party policy on housing is just that. It is a pretty weak attempt and it is pretty hopeless. But we all remember the former Treasurer's response to housing affordability—that was for people to get a better job. Mr Hockey probably managed to get a better job. After all, he has gone to America and he has a lovely house there at taxpayers expense. Someone might say I am envious, because that seems to be the latest line from the government: we are all envious on this side.

Senator Brandis interjecting—

Senator Brandis, while Mr Hockey has left the parliament what we have been left with is Mr Barnaby Joyce. He recently suggested that you just need to get out of Sydney and Melbourne. What a hoot! Move away from your family, move away from your support and move away from your friends and your life and everyone you know. Move away and don't worry about your job. Move away from your GP. In other parts of Australia it is even a matter of moving away from public transport. His suggestion is to move to somewhere where unemployment is higher and jobs are more difficult to secure, just so you can buy a house. Well, no, I do not think that is right. I think that shows the absolute cold and callous indifference of Senator Brandis's government. I am not sure if he is popping over to London to get a new house soon, but I am sure we will find out sooner rather than later. Certainly, I know people on his side are trying to get rid of him and would like him to go. But that is not the point. The point is that unless we address prices in capital cities, high costs will continue to push people out into regional centres, jacking up the house prices and perpetuating the affordability crisis regional residents already face.

Labor has a great policy, no matter what those living in Narnia land over on that side say. We have a great policy in regard to—


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