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Question: Rental Affordability

30 April 2024

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (15:25): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Leader of the Government, the minister representing the Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs, on the topic of rental affordability.

Leave granted.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: Last week, Anglicare released its Anglicare Australia Rental Affordability Snapshot, which found the lowest ever number of affordable rentals across the country. The report found housing availability has not recovered since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with average rents $200 a week higher than pre-pandemic levels. I quote directly from ABC reporting on that snapshot.

The report goes on to note that there is not a single property across Australia or even a room in a shared house that is affordable for someone on Youth Allowance. My question therefore to the minister is: what action is the Malinauskas government taking in relation to skyrocketing rent prices and will they support the Greens' call for a rent freeze over the next two years to finally give renters some relief?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:26): It is always a distinct pleasure to have two questions from the Hon. Robert Simms in one question time. I would be more than happy to refer that question to my colleague in another place and bring back a reply for him.