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New Housing Fund pays for roads and red tape.



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The Hon SUSSAN LEY MP Federal Member for Farrer

Shadow Minister for Housing Shadow Minister for Women

16 September 2008

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release

New Housing Fund pays for roads and red tape

Labor’s recently re-launched Housing Affordability Fund (HAF) cannot possibly cut $20 000 from the cost of a home, as claimed by the Prime Minister this week.

Shadow Minister for Housing Sussan Ley welcomed the call for applications to the HAF but said the $512 million fund was nothing more than a slush fund designed to bail out failed state governments.

“Eligible organisations under the program are state and local governments and, according to the Rudd Labor Government’s guidelines typical projects, would include the installation of sewerage, roads and parks as well as funding that reduces holding costs imposed on developers by government planning systems” Ms Ley said.

“Aren’t these the core responsibilities of state governments anyway?

“In her statement today the Minister for Housing quoted the Residential Development Council which stated that the HAF guidelines ‘encourage best practice in local government’.

“Why aren’t local governments already engaging in best practice?” Ms Ley said. “And if not, why does the Federal Government have to support their inefficiencies with taxpayer dollars?”

Ms Ley said that there was no guarantee that the houses subsidised under the HAF would not be purchased by millionaires, rented out by landlords at above market rates or sold eventually for a windfall capital gain.

“May I remind Mr Rudd that the Commonwealth collects GST revenue which has grown at almost 100 % over the last 8 years and hands this revenue to the states.

“Mr Rudd needs to demand action from state Premiers to reform their planning processes and cut the costs and red tape associated with the supply of new residential property”, Ms Ley said.

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Media contact: Amelia McManus (02) 62774503 0413 591120 amelia.mcmanus@aph.gov.au