The Prime Minister continues to ignore Australia's housing affordability crisis by failing to appoint a dedicated minister for housing in the Turnbull Ministry announced earlier today.
Housing affordability was a significant issue in the federal election and in recent days the property industry and non-government organisations have urged the Prime Minister to ensure that the new Cabinet arrangements reflect the urgent need for national leadership when it comes to dealing with Australia's housing affordability crisis.
Over the past three years the Abbott-Turnbull Government failed to produce any national housing strategy, made cuts to homelessness funding and Malcolm Turnbull’s only advice on how to address housing affordability was to tell parents to “shell out” and buy their kids a house.
At a time when it's never been harder to break into the housing market, particularly in the major metropolitan markets, and thousands of Australians are living in rental or mortgage stress we need a federal government that will work with the states and territories to address this concerning trend rather than sweep it under the carpet.
During the election campaign Bill Shorten and Labor committed to develop a national housing strategy, appoint a dedicated Minister for Housing and Homelessness and to have housing as a standing item on the COAG agenda.
Labor also committed to reforming negative gearing and capital gains tax arrangements to enable first home buyers to compete on a level playing field when it came out buying a home.
The Prime Minister’s failure to appoint a minister for housing confirms yet again that national housing policy will continue on as it has for the past 3 years - neglected and ignored by Malcolm Turnbull and his cabinet - at the expense of millions of Australians who are struggling to make pay the rent or mortgage and for those whose dream of owning a home is slipping away from them.
Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations.