On Wednesday 9 August 2023, I made a speech in Federal Parliament on the Queensland Labor Government's housing policy. You can watch the full speech here or read the transcript below.
Do words no longer mean anything? That's how I felt while listening to Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles explain the new 20 per cent affordable housing target for homes in South-East Queensland. Truly baffling. What counts as affordable? According to the Deputy Premier, most affordable housing would be delivered by the market at market prices. I can't believe I have to actually say this: market prices are currently not affordable. This is the definition of our housing crisis.
It all begs so many questions. Here are just a few. If only 20 per cent of new homes are required to be affordable for the average worker, what are people earning less supposed to do? How is this target to be enforced? The state government has absolutely no plan for this; are they just going to ask developers nicely? Is it just an excuse to pump further public money to private developers for questionable build-to-rent schemes?
The Queensland government, like the federal government, has abandoned any plans to actually build public housing at the mass scale necessary, insisting the solutions lie in the private market. Meanwhile, social housing wait lists blow out, and they have no plans to cap rent increases. There are so many questions, but what everyone desperate for a roof over their head needs now is answers.