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Housing – funding to build more homes

Housing – funding to build more homes

Ms SPENDER (Wentworth) (14:57):

My question is to the Prime Minister.

In National Homelessness Week, the stark truth is that housing has become a nightmare for many Australians, particularly young people. I welcome the government 's commitment to working with the states to boost housing supply by improving zoning and planning laws and processes. But, despite the states receiving an extra $2 billion in federal funding, we have no guarantees they will deliver on much-needed reforms. What guarantees of reform is the Prime Minister aiming to get from the states next week, and will the Prime Minister make future funding contingent on them actually delivering more housing?

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Prime Minister) (14:58): I thank the member for Wentworth for her question. I thank her for her concern about these issues. I have met with the member for Wentworth one on one about some of the ideas she has to address what are the major issues, when it comes to housing supply in this country, that are having a particularly adverse effect on young Australians. The member for Wentworth understands that this is about supply, and that is why, on the issues that she has raised with me, we've been broadly in agreement about the direction in which she wants Australia to go.

We have a meeting of the national cabinet next Wednesday, and I've spoken with state premiers and chief ministers about how we move forward when it comes to supply. We have the $2 billion that we brought forward in the Social Housing Accelerator. When we met in June, we insisted that that has to be additional supply. It can be new social housing completely or it can be, indeed, some social housing that's been left derelict and isn't currently occupied to add to supply as well. We know from experience, when the member for Sydney was the housing minister of this country, the big difference that was made in that time was actually from making sure that housing—

Ms Plibersek: 35,000 houses!

The SPEAKER: The Minister for the Environment and Water will cease interjecting!

Mr ALBANESE: which was at that time unoccupied got renovated and made fit for purpose in a dynamic way. Certainly, our housing policy has that as agreed. The other thing, though, that we'll be discussing next week is how we achieve the National Housing Accord. What we want to do is to put in place—

Ms Plibersek interjecting—

Mr Pasin interjecting—

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will pause. The minister for the environment is warned and will cease interjecting. The member for Barker will leave the chamber under 94(a). If you receive a warning and you interject after the warning, you will leave the chamber. The Prime Minister has the call. The member for Barker then left the chamber.

Mr ALBANESE: The National Housing Accord is really critical, and we want to make sure that all states and territories have plans to get there. That's about land release, it's about zoning, it's about density—particularly around appropriate public transport routes—and it is about making sure that we increase supply, because that is what will make the big difference.

I must say that first ministers have been very positive and constructive about this, and I'm confident that next week we will have some really good results and outcomes that will lead to what the member for Wentworth wants to see, which is real change making a real difference out there. The other thing that first ministers all emphasised to me is the need to pass the Housing Australia Future Fund, because that's an important component. It's just one, but it's an important component when it comes to increasing housing supply. (Time expired)

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