The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien says the Andrews Labor Government is giving with one hand and taking with the other when it comes to housing in the region.
Gippslanders are struggling to put a roof over their heads and housing availability and affordability is constrained by huge demand and government inaction.
“I am hearing every day of people having difficulty finding a house,” Mr O’Brien said.
“On the one hand it is a good thing that there is booming demand for property in our region and many people from Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula are moving to Gippsland while locals also invest.
“On the other hand this is pushing people down the chain from ownership to rental and even into the need for public housing – and shortages are causing significant stress.
“I am pleased that the state government has a big housing build program, but at the same time it is sending the wrong signals to the market and constraining supply of new affordable housing.”
Mr O’Brien said the recent passage of legislation implementing a new windfall gains tax on property developers would only see costs passed on to home buyers and make housing affordability even worse.
“We also know that in smaller rural areas, this tax will make it more difficult for people to establish new housing estates. The Nationals oppose this tax because we know it will only hurt those in most need.”
Mr O’Brien said the state government was also failing to deliver when it comes to planning to ensure there was enough housing in the region.
“The Nationals have committed to support local councils with planning flying squads and free up government red tape to deliver 50,000 lots across regional Victoria.
“By contrast the recent Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Annual Report showed that approval times for planning scheme amendments, which includes planning zone changes for residential developments, have blown out by 184 per cent in the past year.
“The Andrews Labor Government needs to improve its processes to ensure housing developments are approved quickly and we get a roof over the head of more Gippsland families.”