Housing Supply Reforms Must Be Priority

Master Builders Australia strongly backs the focus by the Federal and State/Territory Treasurers on tackling housing affordability announced by the Federal Treasurer at the Council on Federal Financial Relations yesterday.

“The working party to be chaired by Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas is welcome recognition that increasing the housing supply is where the focus of government needs to be,” Wilhelm Harnisch CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“The core of the problem is to remove the structural impediments that have caused supply not being able to keep up with demand,” he said.
“Increasing housing supply is essential to prevent the intergenerational home ownership gap from widening,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“The availability of adequate affordable and appropriate housing is a fundamental pillar underpinning our social and economic wellbeing as a community,” he said.

“More effective cooperation between all levels of government is fundamental to meaningful action on housing affordability because over-regulation and inefficiency in the supply process by state and local governments is the major barrier to building new housing,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“Master Builders will be calling on the working party to support adoption by the Federal Government of the Harper Review’s proposed competition policy reforms to tackle the issue of undersupply of housing,” he said.

“The Harper Review’s call for state, territory and local governments to act decisively to abolish unnecessary regulation and to encourage governments who deliver greater efficiencies through increased use of national competition payments is imperative if we are to permanently remove the structural impediments to affordable housing,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“Master Builders is also calling for the Federation White Paper to support reforms necessary to slash state and local government red and green tape and excessive taxes including developer charges,” he said.

“Targeted investment in urban infrastructure is also vital to complement the reform efforts. Master Builders supports the Federal Treasurer’s call for state and territory governments to move quickly to access the asset recycling pool to fund more and better urban infrastructure,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“The Treasurer should take the opportunity to make sure home ownership remains a realistic aspiration for young Australians by supporting such reforms in the May Budget,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

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