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

One of the ways in which the federal government, particularly after 10 years of inaction by those opposite, can improve access to housing is to work to improve supply, and that is what we are seeking to do with $575 million from the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, a housing accord which includes federal funding to deliver 10,000 affordable homes; the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee, which is helping thousands of Australians into homeownership; a budget which will deliver billions of dollars; $2 million for financing more social and affordable rental housing through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, and significant expansion of eligibility criteria for the Home Guarantee Scheme, as well as a boost to homelessness funding to states and territories. So the Housing Australia Future Fund is not all we are doing. It is one aspect of a multipronged plan and substantial investment to try to deal with this. We actually understand that the Commonwealth can do more to put more supply on the table, and that will have an effect on affordability.

I have watched over the years the Greens and the Liberals team up on some things. We watched them previously team up against the carbon price. But this stunt today is to try to give themselves cover for not debating a bill. I mean, really—at least have the courage of your convictions. We keep hearing, 'Oh, they just want to make sure they don't have to vote for it.' If you really believe that this is so bad, if you really think $10 billion of taxpayer funds to provide more housing supply in this country is not worthy, then stand up and have the guts to argue it. But no, what you're trying to do—and I heard Senator McKim today on the radio—is you're trying to find a way to not actually have the argument.

We're for more investment in public, social and affordable housing. You're with the Libs, against it. End of story.


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