Senate debates

Tuesday, 9 May 2023


Consideration of Legislation

12:19 pm

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

I rise to respond to this because I want to put some facts on the table about what is actually driving this. The Greens are moving this motion, a procedural motion to up-end the Senate's procedures, so that they can continue with blocking billions of dollars being invested into Australian housing. That is why they are doing this. They've had this private senators' bill in this parliament since November. They have chosen not to bring it on for debate at the appropriate time. They've chosen this. They had times when they could have debated this bill if they cared about it so much, but no—they want to use it as cover for not debating a $10 billion investment in Australian housing. They are trying to continue to block more investment in affordable housing in this country, and this is cover for it.

The government wants to debate the housing bill. We want to debate the housing bill because (a) it was an election commitment and (b) we actually want more affordable housing in this country. But we have the Greens and the Liberals teaming up to oppose more investment in housing. Who would have thought the Greens party would be lining up with the Liberals to oppose more investment in housing? We on this side of the chamber know too many Australians hit by growing rents, too many Australians struggling to buy a home and too many Australians experiencing homelessness.

Their solution is to block investment in supply. That's their solution: 'Let's not add to supply.' That's because they want a political stunt. It is so cynical. It is so cynical to pretend you care about people who are struggling with rent and struggling with homelessness and then turn up and vote with the Tories against more investment in housing.


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