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Labor dumps rent, housing pledges in new draft party platform

Greens Housing Spokesperson Max Chandler-Mather has slammed the Labor Party for walking away from its pledge to lead the states and territories in public housing construction and rental affordability.

The Draft 2023 ALP Platform, to be discussed in August at the Labor National Conference, walks away from public housing, and drops the party’s election pledge to work with the states on rents and dwelling construction.

Instead, the statements have been replaced with a generic message saying that all levels of government and industry need to work together - vacating the specific pledge that the Commonwealth has a responsibility to act upon rents and the construction of housing.

This comes as the Federal Government is arguing that it is up to state governments to take action on rents, and that public and affordable housing is largely the responsibility of the states. These arguments are in direct contradiction to the platform they took to the last election.

In contrast to the Prime Minister’s often told story of his upbringing, the new draft platform also removes all references to ‘public housing’ - reflecting a marked drift away from publicly owned projects, towards less affordable privately owned alternatives like social or community housing.

The Platform also drops a recognition that housing is a human right.

Labor’s National Conference is due to be held at a conference centre in Mr Chandler-Mather’s electorate of Griffith on August 17-19.

Sections removed from Labor’s draft 2023 Platform:

“Labor acknowledges that access to safe and secure housing is a basic human right and believes that housing affordability is one of the biggest issues facing Australians.

“Labor recognises that the responsibility of funding the construction and repair of social housing, including both public and community housing, is the shared responsibility of the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments.

“Labor will work with the states, territory and local governments and industry stakeholders to help Australians who rent to have access to more secure, affordable, quality, long term housing.

“Labor will work with the state, territory and local governments, local organisations and the private sector to reduce homelessness and support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.”

Lines attributable to Greens Housing Spokesperson, Max Chandler-Mather MP:

“People desperately want the government to do more on housing - but Labor’s running away from the platform they were elected on and the solutions we know will actually work to tackle the housing crisis, that’s having enormous impacts across the country” 

“Anthony Albanese went to the last Federal Election on a platform that pledged to work with the states to help renters, and lead a nationwide response to the housing crisis, and now they’re breaking that promise.”

“Labor is abandoning renters and public housing in the middle of the worst housing crisis in generations.”

While Labor’s own platform acknowledged that the Commonwealth Government could coordinate national action on rents and build public housing, now they’re trying to pretend there’s nothing they can do and blame the states.

“With wall to wall Labor governments across the country, Labor is abandoning any real promises of action on the housing crisis. 

“Dropping any references to public housing from their draft platform shows they are backing away from public housing at a time where its need has never been more urgent. We know that public housing is the best and most cost-effective way to deliver genuinely affordable homes.

“The Prime Minister likes to point to the impact being raised in public housing had on his life, but at the same time under his government, this country has one of the lowest rates of new public housing approvals in this country's history. 

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