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Greens stare down Labor over renters, guaranteed housing funding


Labor needs to stay at the negotiating table and work with the Greens on a plan for renters and people who need public and affordable housing, the Greens have said, after Labor failed in their attempts to gag debate today via an hours motion and bring their housing bill to a vote in the Senate today after only 45 mins of debate.

Lines attributable to Max Chandler-Mather, Greens Spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness:

“The budget revealed nothing at all for 5.5 million renters. It also has no new money for public and genuinely affordable housing.

“We thought maybe the Budget would fill the gaps left by the HAFF Bill but there’s nothing in there. Handing out $1.12 a day extra in Rent Assistance while rents go up ten times faster is spitting in the face of struggling renters.

“We’re in a once-in-a-generation housing crisis and the government playing politics with housing in the Senate shows they don’t understand or don’t care that people are stuck in housing hell.

“We warned the government not to bring the Bill on before they’d come up with a real plan for renters and an increased guaranteed spend on public and affordable  housing. Instead they tried to ram it through after only 45 mins of debate.

“We were elected to represent people who are hurting: we’re not going to be intimidated and we’re not going to roll over.

“Our message to Labor is we will pass this bill straight away if you work with the states to get a freeze on rent increases and guarantee 5 billion to build public and genuinely affordable housing.”

“With a declining private housing construction industry freeing up excess skills and materials, and a $4.2 billion budget surplus all occurring in the middle of the worst housing crisis in generations, now is the perfect time to invest billions of dollars in public and affordable housing, and it beggars belief that Labor are refusing to come to the table. 

“The only barrier is politics and a political establishment who are more concerned with the profits of the property developers and banks who ultimately benefit from our broken housing system, than they are about the hundreds of thousands of people sleeping in their cars and tents right now or one rent increase away from eviction.

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