Adjournment – Public Housing

3 Oct 2023

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My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Housing, and the action I seek is for the minister to build more public housing, not privatise public housing estates. The government plans to privatise swathes of public housing land, including in the Prahran electorate, gifting it to private property developers to rebuild the towers with no guarantee in its housing statement that public housing will be built following the demolition. In its statement it says it wants to increase the number of people living on these estates from 10,000 to 30,000, but incredibly, of the 20,000 extra people on the estates, 95 per cent will be in private housing – just 5 per cent in social housing at a time when our state’s public housing waiting list stands at over 125,000 people and will continue to grow. Rather than committing to building the amount of public housing we desperately need in our state and utilising the land on public housing estates, which is close to transport and close to schools, services and jobs, the government is opting to sell off existing estates for the profits of private developers. The former Premier, when he announced this plan, said he expected a lot of interest from developers in the estates. Well, he is not wrong. I am sure they will be lined up. This proposed sell-off, reminiscent of the Kennett era – although even he has come out and opposed it – will have far-reaching and long-term effects on our state’s ability to provide quality public housing for those who need it.

Our estates do need upgrading. Some parts need rebuilding. But it makes no sense to privatise prime public housing land so close to the CBD instead of building more housing on it. Under this plan, hundreds of existing public housing units will be destroyed and thousands of residents displaced without any guarantee that any of the newly built dwellings will be public housing homes. Public housing is essential to ensuring that people who need it most have a safe place to call home, and I call on the minister to ensure that our public housing estates remain in the public’s hands and are used for the public good.

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