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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 October 2018) . . Page.. 4442 ..


I think it is also important to note in this debate that both the Reserve Bank and the Grattan Institute have indicated that in fact the greatest inhibitor to increased housing supply is planning and zoning rules in the states and territories, and that is why the work that Minister Gentleman is undertaking through the Territory Plan work and the missing middle of the housing market is so fundamental to addressing this challenge here in the ACT.

The policies that have been outlined by the Deputy Chief Minister in the housing strategy, the planning work that is being undertaken by the minister for planning, the taxation reforms that the ACT government has been progressively implementing over the last six years and will continue to implement, combined with policy alignment at the national level, a comprehensive agreement between the commonwealth and the states and territories on housing and homelessness, and reform to negative gearing and capital gains tax—all these policies combined will make a difference to improve housing affordability.

But fundamental to all this is that we must transition the debate in this nation on housing away from it being an investment class into it being a fundamental human right. That is what is at stake in this nation over the next five months. There is a very clear policy difference between the two major parties on this issue, and Australians will decide at the next federal election what sort of housing policy we are going to pursue as a nation.

But if you think about it and boil it down to the simple realities, we cannot have a situation in this country where people expect to invest in housing and have a capital gain of between five and seven per cent every year and an investment return of between five and seven per cent on a housing asset, and wages only growing by two to three per cent, and think that that can continue forever and that you can somehow solve housing affordability and access to housing in a situation where there is an expectation from a significant part of the community that they can just continue to invest in this economically unproductive asset and get returns like that whilst those who are trying to enter into the housing market are seeing their wages grow by only two to three per cent annually.

That equation is not sustainable in the long term. What has led to it is capital gains tax policy and negative gearing policy at the federal level. That is what is driving this. That has to change. And that, combined with a big supply-side effort from state and territory governments, could make a meaningful difference. That is what we are calling for nationally. That is what we are delivering locally. I commend the Deputy Chief Minister for this policy work.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Advanced Technology and Space Industries) (11.09): I rise to make some remarks on the statement my colleague the Deputy Chief Minister has delivered on the government’s housing strategy. As both a Labor member for Brindabella and the planning minister I am delighted at the investments this strategy makes in new homes, in the renewal of others and its commitment to set aside land release for public, community and affordable housing.


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