Housing crisis

Labour-Greens government refuses to address ACT housing crisis

In this opinion piece, ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja argues that it is the ACT Labour-Green government’s deliberate pressure on the land supply that is at the heart of the housing crisis. ACT housing.

Did you see last week new data released by Allhomes announcing that the median house price in Canberra has jumped 36.6% in the past 12 months?

Canberra is now the second most expensive city in Australia to buy a house.

It really makes me worry for my children and I feel deeply for all Canberrans struggling to get into the housing market. With the highest rent in the country, saving for a deposit is now nearly impossible.

In Canberra, it is clear that the supply (or lack) of land is at the heart of our housing affordability issues.

The Labour-Green local government is using its monopoly on available land to deliberately reduce supply and profit from land sales – keeping prices high to charge taxes and record land rates.

One of my first acts as an ACT senator was to change the plan for the nation’s capital, making more land available to the ACT government to release for housing, particularly land west of downtown Tuggeranong.

True to form, Labor and the Greens have simply ignored the changes, continuing to inflate Canberra family prices and artificially inflate our market.

I don’t often share common ground with Jon Stanhope, Labour’s longest-serving chief minister, but on the housing affordability crisis facing Canberrans, I have to agree with Jon.

He pointed out that the only other industry in Canberra where the gross profit margin is as high as ACT government land sales is outlawed motorcycle gangs, saying:

“It’s more about money than meeting the housing needs of Canberra residents.”

New land has not been released in Tuggeranong for decades.

I delivered reforms that mean Andrew Barr could free up land in West Tuggeranong for housing today if he wanted.

And the Liberal-National Government has introduced, among other measures, the First Home Super Saver scheme, the First Home Loan Deposit scheme and the First Home Guarantee, helping tens of thousands of Australians to enter the housing market.

Meanwhile, the Labour-Green government refuses to address the housing affordability crisis facing families in Canberra.

We all need to play our part to ensure home ownership is not an impossible dream in the ACT – I want every family to have the opportunity to own a home in Canberra and not be forced to cross the border.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Canberra Weekly.