Senate debates

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Questions without Notice


2:01 pm

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Foreign Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

When I find the brief I was looking at before in relation to migration, I will respond directly on the NOM that he identifies. But, if I may, I'll go to the rental point. It is odd to get a question about housing in a week where the coalition and the Greens are going to work together to prevent investment in housing supply. Because if Senator Smith were concerned, as his question suggests he is, about rental affordability—he is somebody who I think understands basic supply and demand—he would understand that, if you increase supply, you put downward pressure on prices. So if one cares about rental affordability, how do you square that away, Senator Smith, with your opposition to more investment in the very capital investment that you say matters?

The reality is that we have a higher net overseas migration forecast in 2022-23 to reflect a one-off catch-up from the pandemic and the return of international students. I know those opposite recognise the importance of that export service to our economy and to the financial and broader position of our educational institutions. So I would have been surprised—in fact, I have been surprised—at Mr Dutton's position, which seems to suggest we don't want international students to return, which is, of course, an expert earner for Australia, but at the same time is opposing the Housing Australia Future Fund.


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