The Minister for Planning & Infrastructure’s announcement (earlier this week) that the Network City Strategy was failing is the latest indicator of the Carpenter Government’s dismal record with housing.
Shadow Minister for Housing & Works, Mr McGrath will be heading to Sydney for a National Housing Conference next week, hoping that the experience will provide some valuable insight and fresh ideas into addressing the Government’s slump in implementing effective housing policy.
“I’m hoping to use this conference as a launch pad, from which I will be able to resume the Opposition’s pressure on the Carpenter Government, when Parliament resumes the following week.
“The Government has failed to react to the warning signs of a housing problem choosing instead to persist with policies that are failing to deliver adequate and affordable housing in WA,” Mr McGrath said.
“The State Government has considerable power when it comes to moderating the supply side of the housing industry, despite their reliance on an array of excuses, apparently undermining their ability to stabilise the market, it is clear that their greatest indictment has been a failure to respond to the repeated warnings.”
The Housing Industry Forecasting Group has repeatedly warned of the need to address the looming land shortage, in reports as far back as October 2000/01. It was close to common knowledge as far back as 2003 that WA was affected by substantial land shortages, likely to worsen.
Furthermore, in the 1980’s and 90’s, WA’s population experienced equal and at times greater annual increases than is currently being experienced. The Court Government identified and responded to the situation by releasing more land.
“The Carpenter Government has instead held on to their preference for the Network City policy and refused to release more land. We can all now see where that has left the State.
“With interest rates threatening to continue to rise the risk is that the situation will worsen further still as homeowners are unable to match their rising mortgage and loan repayments.
“Housing un-affordability is the Government’s new mantra; Carpenter can use the publicly-raised advertising funds to spread that message.
“Given the current predicament the Government needs to be injecting the funds to try and stabilise while also releasing more land to generate growth of the housing market as opposed to passing around the existing capital stock.”
“On one level at least the Minister has at last conceded defeat; now let’s work on a refreshed policy, heeding sound economic advice that has the benefit of experience to be able to respond properly to the risks at hand.
I have little confidence in the Government’s ability to respond.
“I will continue to push this issue in Parliament with the respective Ministers until there is broad changes implemented.”