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Question on Rent Freeze

My question is to the Minister for Housing. Will this government put a freeze on rents to help the hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders struggling with skyrocketing rents or will Labor continue to prioritise the real estate lobby?

Minister for Housing: 
I understand from news reports that the member is going to bring in a private member’s bill around this matter, but I am happy to answer this question. The member for South Brisbane needs to understand what the rest of us understand; which is that the housing market is under incredible stress right across the country and not just in Queensland. There are multiple compounding issues that have had unprecedented impacts on construction, on housing availability, on social housing and, of course, on the private rental market.

We passed legislation in this House around stage 1 of our rental law reforms. They come into effect on 1 October this year. We are progressing stage 2 of our rental reforms. Those reforms will be consulted on thoroughly with the community and the sector, as members would expect. We will always take a responsible and measured approach to this work. What we need to do is have a look at the whole sector and understand what the impacts will be and how we navigate our way through that. There is obviously a very fine balance in all of that and that balance needs to be struck.

What renters do not need right now is poorly thought through legislation from the Greens political party that could see a further reduction in housing supply in the private rental market [according to experts this is incorrect: a rent freeze would not reduce supply]. We do not want to see those impacts. We want to continue to see private rental products available to people. That is why we need those people there. We need those products there. We want mum-and-dad investors to have the confidence to retain their property in the private rental market and support ongoing private rentals for Queenslanders. We do not want them to potentially sell off their property as a result of extremist Greens legislation. The member has claimed in the media that if people do not like her legislation or her view then they could sell their private rental property into the market and somehow that would solve issues. We are seeing the results of that right now.

The member for South Brisbane needs to take a much more sensible, reasonable approach to this. That is what this side of the House does. That is what we do every day. We consult. We work through the challenges and the complexities of the issue and find a way forward that is not going to have other impacts as in we see hundreds of private rental properties leave the market. We are already seeing some of those pressures now. We do not need to see any more. That is why we have committed $2.9 billion to ensure we build more social and affordable homes in this state. That is why we are providing all the other services to support people who are currently in the market.
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