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State Development, Construction and Housing – Housing Waitlist

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 6 June 2023

Tags: Housing Crisis, Housing Waiting List, State Budget

Ms O'CONNOR – We're just running out of time, thanks for your answer. Minister, in the Budget, footnote 4 on Page 132 of the scant eight-page information on Homes Tasmania, there's an attempt to explain away our alarming waitlist statistics by claiming it would be worse if we were at the national average. I'm wondering where you got the figure of 53 per cent? The footnote claims that the Australian average for social housing applicants as a proportion of the portfolio in 2021-22 was 53 per cent. The Institute of Health and Welfare and the Productivity Commission put the rate at 40 per cent. Where did this 53 per cent claim come from? It seems to me to be extremely rubbery figures. I'm not sure you could point to a credible source for it.

Mr BARNETT - Thank you for the question. It's an operational matter so I'll pass to the CEO or her colleagues.

Ms O'CONNOR - I'm happy to put it on notice if it's going to take a little while to find the source.

Ms MORGAN-THOMAS - Can we take it on notice?

Ms O'CONNOR - Yes.

Ms MORGAN-THOMAS - It would have come from the Report on Government Services (RoGS) but exactly how we derived it we couldn't tell you.

Ms O'CONNOR - Because the RoGS on our research said 40 per cent.

Minister, according to the Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2014 housing applicants, as a proportion of the Housing portfolio - so this is people who are applying for social or community housing -

Mr BARNETT - What year are you in?

Ms O'CONNOR - 2014.

Mr BARNETT - 2014?

Ms O'CONNOR - Extend your mind back to the beginning of your colleagues' contribution towards the housing crisis we're experiencing now. In 2014 housing applicants as a proportion of the Housing portfolio in Tasmania was 17 per cent. It's now 29 per cent, which tells us that the need is growing extreme. In the same time the Australian rate has only increased by two per cent. We hear a lot of spin out of you and your predecessors and premiers, current and past, but can you admit that it's very much local factors, very much about the socio-economic circumstances of the people we represent, not national factors, that have seen housing wait lists balloon here by such an exponentially larger amount than in other states?

Mr BARNETT - Everyone's acknowledging the housing demand has increased across the country, especially and including in Tasmania. We have a growing economy and a growing population. The ABS stats when they came out last year surprised everyone because there were an extra 30 000 people who we didn't know about. We now have 571 000 in Tasmania, which is about an 11 per cent increase since 2014. We're going to hit that 650 000 target by 2032-33. In terms of the Affordable Housing Strategy and action plans, we've assisted 4330 households into housing since 2014. We know that we need to do better. That's why we created Homes Tasmania to do better.