Page 535 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 23 March 2022
One of the real estate agents that I spoke to said it really does not take much of a push to convince landlords to sell up. The evidence from the industry is that most of those properties are being purchased by owner-occupiers, as Mr Davis pointed out. But it is one of the big reasons that we have a vacancy rate of 0.4 per cent.
Mr Pettersson, in his opening remarks on this motion, pointed out that there is a massive cohort, a huge cohort, of people who will never own a home. For some of those people, it is by choice, but for many others it is because it will just be outside their financial reach to do so.
I was staggered to hear Mr Davis suggest that it would actually be quite a positive thing if some of these landlords left because some owner-occupiers would purchase those properties. What does Mr Davis have to say to the massive amount of people who are currently failed by the private rental market because they just cannot get in? The further you diminish that private rental market, the more those rents will go up and the more the sort of practices that Mr Davis spoke of, that are far from ideal, will occur.
I would ask Mr Pettersson to explain to this chamber exactly how many constituents have contacted his office asking him about the ability for tenants to seek references from landlords. I want to know, because I have not had any; not a single one. I want to know how many people have contacted the Pettersson office asking this question. And in answering that request, I wonder whether Mr Pettersson can provide the evidence of those inquiries. If that evidence cannot be provided, we all must arrive at the conclusion that this is all just a bit of a laugh.
I met with a landlord on Monday night, a gentleman who had a dozen investment properties in a family trust. Ms Cheyne knows exactly who I am talking about. I explained to him what the guts of this debate today was about. I explained that Labor was moving a motion seeking to make it law that he would have to provide references to prospective tenants, should they request one. Terry—not his real name—was a little perplexed. “Surely, they would just want references for the letting agent?” he said. “No,” I told him, “this motion specifically asks for the landlord to provide references.” “What’s that going to achieve?” Terry asked me. “What’s it going to achieve?” “Well,” I said, “in the current market, it’s not going to achieve anything.”
The Canberra Liberals will not be supporting this motion. I think that it should be a great embarrassment for both Labor and the Greens, because of what it signals more than anything else. If you consider the motion that the leader of the Canberra Liberals brought to this chamber yesterday, and if you consider for a moment the motion that Mr Davis has put on the paper, potentially for discussion tomorrow, when you compare those to this motion, I think it should be a sign of great embarrassment. It signals that both Labor and the Greens, more than anything else, are not taking the housing crisis seriously and that, as a collective, you are treating the city with contempt.
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for