STATEMENT BY ANDREW WOODWARD – LABOR FOR COWPER

The Federal Government needs to recognise that the affordable housing crisis is an issue for the Coffs and mid-north coasts and not just Sydney and Melbourne.

Speakers at today’s “Housing Affordability Local Solutions Forum” in Bellingen spoke time and time again about the depth and dimension of the problem on the Coffs and mid-north coasts.

Sadly, the Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, wasn’t present at today’s forum. It was addressed by senior NSW government bureaucrats, leading academics and non-government organisations. No federal government elected official or bureaucrat spoke.

Anglicare this week reported, the North Coast is economically disadvantaged when compared to both the NSW average and the national average. Levels of unemployment remain high, with longer than average disengagement from the work force and an overall lower median household income.

There are issues in the big cities, the regional centres and smaller towns. But we never hear the government acknowledge the extent of the problem here let alone do anything about it.

Labor has positive plans for the Coffs and mid-north coasts that will help low income earners afford housing; protect those renting; increase the supply of housing and get young people, families and those re-establishing later in life into housing ownership.

First, we announced yesterday that in government we will review Newstart and other allowances. Few if any can live on the $40 a day provided by Newstart.

Second, Mr Turnbull should act on Anglicare Australia’s call for a fair tax system by limiting negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions, investing in social and affordable rental housing and working with the states to reform tenancy laws.

Labor has a clear housing affordability plan:

  1. Reform negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions;
  2. Facilitate a COAG process to introduce a uniform vacant property tax across all major cities;
  3. Limit direct borrowing by self-managed superannuation funds;
  4. Increased foreign investor fees and penalties;
  5. Establish a bond aggregator to increase investment in affordable housing;
  6. Boost homelessness support for vulnerable Australians;
  7. Getting better results from the National Affordable Housing Agreement;
  8. Re-establish the National Housing Supply Council and the Minister for Housing.

Third, NSW State Labor is committed to:

  1. 25% of dwellings constructed on government-owned land that is being redeveloped will be designated as Affordable Housing;
  2. 15% of dwellings on privately-owned land rezoned for housing will be designated as Affordable Housing;
  3. Conduct a full audit of all publicly-owned land and create an Affordable Housing Land Register; and
  4. Refocus Urban Growth to prioritise the development of affordable, social and mixed housing.

STATEMENT BY LABOR CANDIDATE FOR OXLEY, CLR SUSAN JENVEY

Finally, we have housing affordability on the agenda in the area. For too long the issue has been on the back burner. It is a now front and centre issue on the Coffs and mid-north coast. We have got great policies to address the issues here in the short, medium and long term. The Nationals and Liberals just have silence. The community is speaking up; we’ve heard it; we get it and, we’re going to be keeping it high on the agenda.


Updated. 3 May 2018

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