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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 3695


Mr WILKIE (Denison) (13:41): Housing affordability and accessibility are key concerns for many Australians, but shamefully they were barely mentioned by the government in this week's budget. Indeed, the housing situation is now so bad for so many people, especially in Tasmania and in my electorate of Denison, that it's realistic to call it a crisis—a crisis that is in large part the result of a failure of public policy by a series of federal and state governments over many years.

The only ways to turn this around are (1) more crisis accommodation; (2) more Housing Tasmania properties and other social housing; (3) more supported accommodation for people with specific needs; (4) reining in Airbnb and returning it to the original intent of making spare rooms available; (5) tax changes, including reform of negative gearing and capital gains tax; (6) rent-to-buy public housing; (7) a 30 per cent increase in Commonwealth rent assistance; (8) improved grants and access to low-interest loans for first home buyers; (9) the abolition of Tasmania's public housing debt, which would release $15 million a year for more houses; and (10) light rail to the northern suburbs of Hobart to better link affordable housing with the city and jobs. These are the sorts of things that are needed—not more bandaids and not more talk but real reforms now.