‘The reality is we don’t have enough homes in Australia,’ stated Minister Julie Collins at First National’s 2023 Hobart Convention.

In her first speech since the 2023 Budget, Federal Housing Minister, the Honourable Julie Collins MP, said the measures announced in the Federal Budget “were responsible, struck the right balance, and responded to the pressures of the here and now while creating opportunities down the track”.

“The real estate industry understands the complexity of Australia’s housing challenges better than most, but frankly, no single policy measure can solve our affordability, rental, social housing and homelessness challenges.”

The minister outlined the additional $2 billion of financing to be provided for the government’s social and affordable rental housing initiatives, the expansion of Home Guarantee Scheme eligibility, the 15% increase to maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance, and its introduction of legislation to establish a $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, which it claims is the single biggest investment in social and affordable housing in more than a decade.

Ray Ellis, First National CEO, stated “the divergence of views about how Australian government should manage housing affordability, the chronic undersupply of new homes and the rental property crisis are the biggest issues facing Australians and the Real Estate industry today”.

Shadow Housing Minister, the Honourable Michael Sukkar, who also addressed the conference, argued that the Albanese Government’s policies would not be effective in solving Australia’s housing supply issues.

‘Borrowing $10 billion to invest in the Housing Australia Future Fund and hoping to spend the earnings to build more homes is no way to fund Australia’s affordable and social housing needs,’ said Mr Sukkar.

‘Housing initiatives should be fully funded from government revenue and not be aspirations with no guarantees. Media releases talking about 30,000 social and affordable homes being built over five years reflect less than what was delivered in the last five years.’

Mr Sukkar also questioned the merit of providing foreign build-to-rent developers with tax advantages not available to Australian builders.

More than 620 real estate agents and delegates filled four Hobart hotels for an agenda incorporating: finance and investment with Mark Bouris AM, societal issues with Ruff Track co-founder and Big Brother alumni David Graham, 22 performance partners, BMW, and Australian comedian Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes.

The contrasting views presented by the housing minister and the shadow minister reflect the complexity of Australia’s housing challenges and the different approaches proposed to address them. As real estate agents and property managers grapple with an undersupply of homes for sale and the rental property crisis, it’s absolutely clear that the only thing that both housing and shadow housing ministers agree on is that Australia needs more homes.