Page 433 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

The combination of negative gearing with concessional capital gains means that it is very attractive to leverage into investor property.

She also said:

In Australia, additions to the housing stock have run ahead of population growth for a number of years.

We can see that, nationally, even though supply is increasing, prices are continuing to go up. This is clearly an issue across Australia, as I said, and not just in Canberra. The government is doing what it can with the levers that it has, and the actions taken by the government are listed in the amendment.

It is quite perplexing that Ms Lee is suggesting that if we built less of the housing that is affordable and more of the housing that is more expensive, we would be better off. Releasing more land to create new outer suburbs is not free and easy, and it is not a solution to housing affordability. It is expensive to develop new estates. We need to make sure that our communities are well served with power, water, roads, schools, parks and other infrastructure.

The environmental risks of carelessly releasing more land are also significant. Once that land is built on, we do not get it back. West Murrumbidgee is a great example of an area that just does not stack up on environmental, infrastructure or planning grounds. It is a beautiful part of the world. It is also hard to get infrastructure out there. Once people move into west Murrumbidgee, its location and physical attributes mean that traffic would be funnelled through the Tuggeranong town centre, with very poor connections to other centres.

Land release is a careful balancing act, and providing housing and protecting the environment are also a major part of that. It requires careful consideration of what life would look like for future residents. Will they continue to have the same “liveable city” experience that Canberra is known for, or are we simply making suburbs which require people to get stuck in congestion on the way there? How affordable is a house if you are spending time in traffic and money on petrol? That could be a different aspect.

Like my colleague Mr Davis, I am also a former real estate agent, and the old adage “Location, location, location” is a cliche for a reason. When you are buying a home, you are buying more than just the physical structure; you are also buying into the community. The government is not able to simply magic up more land that is walking distance from Canberra’s city centre. We can increase the density in desirable locations but we cannot create more land.

It is also important to bear in mind that, as our city grows, our household size is also shrinking. People are choosing to spend their retirement in Canberra, and we need to ensure that people who are downsizing have housing options to age in place. If we have good downsizing options then this will free up our existing freestanding single residential houses.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video