Page 1260 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022
sale. Were that to happen en masse, as some of the most pessimistic of those in this place might argue, simple economics would dictate that that would increase the supply of properties on the sales market, putting downward pressure on prices for first home buyers and others seeking to downsize.
Surely, when we have acknowledged repeatedly in this place—we are on a union ticket, Mr Assistant Speaker—that housing and rental prices are at crisis point, a stabilising or reduction in prices at either end would benefit any Canberran currently struggling to find somewhere to live. I believe that the Australian dream of home ownership can and must be maintained. While I and others in the Greens are committed to improving the situation for tenants, I truly believe that the greatest form of housing security is owning your own home.
I am not prepared to prioritise the economic advantage of the landlord class over the protection of the great Australian dream. Until we change the government at the federal level and see the Greens with the balance of power and the capacity to influence the unfair policy settings that benefit investors over the right to secure affordable housing, I am accepting what I can influence and what this Assembly can control. We do not get to decide who the next federal government is and what policies they will implement. We do not get to end negative gearing. But when we all agree in this place that this is a crisis point, it is up to us to focus our attention on what we can do to end the crisis here at home.
The community discussions suggested by this motion are just one part of the solution to this crisis. As someone who grew up in public housing, someone who grew up in poverty and who now feels blessed to share my part in the great Australian dream, I am pleased to be a part of the solution to this crisis.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (11.55): In my capacity as chair of the planning, transport and city services committee, I would like to speak briefly on this motion. This motion asks our committee to consider a matter for potential inquiry. It is a matter that falls within our areas of responsibility. I would like to note, on behalf of my committee, that this particular topic is one we have previously discussed. My colleague and deputy chair Ms Orr flagged it as an issue we should look at soon after our committee first formed. We were very interested in looking at it then, but our large volume of statutory and Assembly referrals prohibited us at the time.
I note that last year we commenced nine inquiries. To put that in context, in the previous three years the planning committee commenced one inquiry, five inquiries and four inquiries. Our workload has increased dramatically this term.
Speaking in my personal capacity and not as the chair, I note that referring issues to a committee from an executive motion has been done a few times in the Assembly since I have been here. I have seen one from Mr Milligan and two from Mr Davis. I gather from conversations with colleagues that there are different views about whether this is the right use of committees. I do not have a personal view on that in general terms, but I will happily support Mr Davis’s motion today.