Page 1943 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 27 June 2023

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… the evidence shows that it reduces supply significantly by up to 15%. The other thing that it shows is the quality of the stock diminishes over time.

The federal Labor minister closed by saying:

… I will look at the data and the evidence and it shows that this approach doesn’t work.

Chief Minister, given your focus on cost of living this week, why is your government pursuing rental policies which significantly diminish both supply and the quality of stock and that will, in the long term, increase rents and homelessness?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Parton for the question. I was watching Insiders, and I agree with the points that Minister Collins made in relation to the risks associated with both of those kinds of regulatory interventions in the absence of a supply-side focus.

The point that I made when I was on Radio National yesterday morning was that, in combination with a focus on increasing supply, appropriate regulatory safeguards can address the issues that the minister raised, which are legitimate. So what you need is not policy in isolation but policy in harmony.

Mr Hanson: This was specifically about the ACT policy.

MR BARR: Mr Hanson, you are—

MADAM SPEAKER: A serious interjector, yes. Members, can we remain silent while a member is on the floor providing an answer to a question.

MR BARR: In short, the increased supply, which has seen the number of rental dwellings in the territory increase by around 50 per cent over the last decade and rental properties move from 26 per cent of the housing stock in the ACT to 31 per cent of the housing stock, demonstrates a supply-side solution.

Alongside that, we have put in place minimum standards and a form of rent control at a maximum rental increase—not a rent freeze; a regulated rent control that knocks the rough edges off egregious rent increases. When combined with supply-side interventions, it is a good and effective policy mix.

MR PARTON: Chief Minister, is the federal Labor housing minister wrong when she strongly asserts that rent control policies will reduce supply?

MR BARR: The evidence in the ACT is that, if you maintain a supply-first approach, which is what we have been doing, combined with other regulatory interventions—

Mr Parton: Madam Speaker, on a point of order on relevance. The question was very specific. It was whether Mr Barr is therefore asserting that the federal minister is wrong. I ask that he be directly relevant.

MADAM SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

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