To this end HIA has been actively promoting the need for a Federal Housing Coordination Council to ensure that all states have reliable data about the land and housing supply pipeline. The data would be used to coordinate the efforts of federal, state and local governments in delivering the infrastructure to support new residential development in greenfields and in-fill locations in a way that better aligns the supply of new housing in the areas of demand.
We applaud the federal government’s re-engagement in the issues around population growth. The adoption and funding of the proposed Council would send a strong message to all levels of government and the industry that it was committed to the task. The Council would need to involve all levels of government and the industry to deliver the required results and would provide a forum for the development of initiatives to better manage population pressures.
The Minister’s speech also highlighted the valuable contribution that population growth, especially via migration, makes to the Australian economy. HIA has always supported a strong skills based migration program for this reason and also because of the contribution that skilled migrants bring to the country. At a time when both our population overall and building industry workers in particular are ageing, a youthful, skilled migrant inflow is especially valuable.
To bring all of these issues around population together, HIA has been promoting, for many years, the need for a federal housing minister. The time is right for the government to seize on this idea and at the very least to add ‘Housing’ to Minister Tudge’s title and responsibilities.