Master Builders Australia CEO Wilhelm Harnisch has said Scott Morrison’s call for national leadership to improve housing affordability is a long-held view of the association.
Mr Harnisch said the core of the housing affordability problem, as identified by the new Treasurer, is the lack of supply to meet the demands of a growing population, and a “regulation modernisation agenda” is needed to improve competitiveness and efficiency.
“Structural reforms to boost housing supply have to be at the core of improving housing affordability. The areas screaming out for reform include the planning, development and approval processes and the cutting of excessive infrastructure charges,” he said.
“This is where national leadership is imperative because the constitutional responsibilities lie with state governments. National leadership will rely heavily on working cooperatively and collaboratively with state and territory governments through COAG [the Council of Australian Governments] and other processes.”
Mr Harnisch said Master Builders has for a long time called for the return of federal national competition policy payments to state and territory governments for individually targeted and permanent structural reforms that remove unnecessary regulations.
“Boosting the supply of both private and public housing is essential to ensure more Australians can have access to appropriate and affordable housing – structural reform is the answer, and not removing negative gearing,” he said.
“Home ownership must remain a cornerstone of Australia’s wellbeing and Australia’s way of life.”