{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research & forecasting Economics Housing outlook Tailored market research Economic reports & data Inspiring Australia's building professionals Business & digital Products & innovation Projects HOUSING Online The only place to get your industry news Media releases Member alerts Submissions See all
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder & manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies & tool insurance Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services How can safety solutions help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Professional services Industrial relations Member savings Toyota vehicles Fuel savings Handy pay See all
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials & products Concrete, bricks & walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Find jobs
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Mates rates Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Our initiatives HIA Building Women GreenSmart Kitchen, bathroom and design hub Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Support for you Charitable Foundation Mental health program
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Awards program People & Business Awards GreenSmart Australian Housing Awards Awards winners Regional Award winners Australian Housing Award winners 2023 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping & delivery Purchasing T&Cs See all Products Purchase NCC 2022 Building codes & standards Economic reports Hard copy contracts Guides & manuals
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Change location
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Focus on Housing

Focus on Housing

{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
To create a robust housing industry and the chance for Australians to attain home ownership, all levels and sides of government must work together

Michael Sukkar


The great Australian dream of owning your own home is still an aspiration shared by millions of Australians from all walks of life, to this day.

I must say at the outset that as a Liberal, the importance of home ownership has been seared on my psyche. The founder of our great Party, Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister, outlined the importance of home ownership in this way:

‘One of the best instincts in us is that which induces us to have one little piece of earth with a house and a garden which is ours; to which we can withdraw, in which we can be among our friends, into which no stranger may come against our will’.

And he had remarkable success, with the Australian home ownership rate increasing from 52.6-72.5 per cent during his time as Prime Minister.

As the Minister for Housing in the former Coalition Government, I saw it as our mission to recapture this inspired example of Menzies. It seemed clear to me that the guideposts for maintaining Australia’s uniquely egalitarian character were right in front of us: ensuring home ownership was a realistic prospect for everyday Australians.

This is what motivated me and my team each and every day. It still does so today.

And while our emphasis on home ownership has often been an uncontroversial position, it is becoming more contested today. Under successive state and federal Labor Governments we have seen less emphasis, or practical action to encourage private home ownership.

This is in contrast with the former Coalition Government who had an intent focus on improving the prospects of first home buyers

The Hon Michael Sukkar MP, Shadow Minister for Social Services, the NDIS,Housing and Homelessness

From a raft of programs (such as the hugely successful Home Guarantee Schemes, HomeBuilder program and First Home Super Saver Scheme) the number of first home buyers on our watch increased from approximately 100,000 per year when we came to office, to 180,000 in our last full year in government.

This showed, beyond any doubt, that a federal government focused on home ownership can get results.

We also used housing policy to address other important policy objectives. When the term ‘valley of death’ was the grim assessment for the residential construction industry with 500,000 jobs at risk at the beginning of the pandemic, we put in place the HomeBuilder program.

The program which (at that time) provided $25,000 for those who built a new home (derided by the then Labor Opposition) resulted in 137,000 HomeBuilder projects, generating $120 billion of economic activity.

Far from seeing jobs lost in the residential construction industry, we saw the industry boom. This was the perfect marriage between economic stimulus and our ongoing objective to support and encourage more first home buyers.

We also see the need to take a step further in supporting first home buyers. That’s why the Opposition Leader, Peter Dutton, in his budget-in-reply speech reaffirmed our Super Home Buyer Scheme policy. This will allow first home buyers to invest up to $50,000 of their superannuation to help with the purchase of their first home.

All of this background is important because I want to emphasise our commitment to home ownership continues to be the position of the Opposition today.

As for the Albanese Government, we will responsibly support any good measures to improve housing and homelessness outcomes.

Far from seeing jobs lost in the residential construction industry, wesaw the industry boom
We will keep fighting for aspirational Australians who want to own ahome, or a secure home for rent

Pleasingly, the Government has provided support for the Coalition’s Home Guarantee Scheme and the National Housing Finance & Investment Corporation (soon to be renamed Housing Australia). Indeed, NHFIC proved to be a landmark Coalition achievement, providing $2.9 billion of low-cost loans to community housing providers which supported more than 20,000 social and affordable dwellings.

However, the Government has already failed to deliver its key housing election commitment, the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, by its nominated start date of 1 January. Notwithstanding the limited and niche nature of this relatively vanilla shared equity product, most would agree that election policies should be delivered in the time promised.

Great uncertainty also remains in relation to the Government’s Housing Australia Future Fund, particularly due to its lack of funding certainty, detailed costings or implementation plan.

And there are many question marks around the Government’s headline-grabbing Budget ‘aspiration’ to build one million homes over five years from mid-2024. If you dig a little deeper, and as many in the industry already know, one million homes over five years is just business as usual.

With first home buyers lower, rents rising and a more difficult construction environment, things are set to get worse, not better. As a responsible Opposition we will keep fighting for aspirational Australians who want to own a home, or a secure home to rent. And as we did in Government, we will respect the industry that builds those homes and which makes these aspirations a reality.

In the November 2022 edition of Housing, we spoke with the Hon Julie Collins, Minister for Housing, Homelessness and Small Business, on the federal government’s plans for the housing portfolio over the next several years.

Go to page 56 or visit Big targets to read the article.

Published on 16 Feb 2023

View all $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Condensation Energy efficiency Inspiration In Focus National Construction Code (NCC)
Let buildings breathe
Intense wet weather and moves toward more tightly sealed homes has put the potential for mould growth under the microscope. This is what builders and designers need to understand.
Aug 23
9 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Construction In Focus Tax
A four-step housing solution
We have a shortage of homes in Australia. There are four steps governments can take to improve supply and ease the pressure.
Aug 23
9 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Regulations In Focus Environment Legal
Strength in numbers
Housing provides an overview of the contributions HIA members have made on our committees to drive our policy direction on behalf of industry.
Aug 23
6 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Contractors Employee allowances Wages Small business In Focus
Rapid reforms
Will changes to the workplace relations laws affect you? Housing outlines the proposed reforms and what you need to know.
Aug 23
5 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Planning Federal government National Construction Code (NCC) In Focus
Break the planning shackles
Too much subjective control has entered planning systems, leading to unnecessary delays and costs. It’s time to challenge the status quo and let industry get on with building houses.
Aug 23
5 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Energy efficiency Education National Construction Code (NCC) In Focus
Winter is coming
The 7 stars and whole-of-home energy efficiency requirements will soon take effect. But what will this mean for future homes and apartments?
Jun 23
5 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Australian Standards Building developments In Focus
Foreign investors: friend or foe?
Restrictions and taxes on foreign investment is having an adverse impact on housing supply at a time when Australia’s population is desperate for more housing solutions.
Jun 23
5 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Education Construction Apprentice In Focus
Sold the wrong dream?
There’s a common perception that apprenticeships are poorly paid and the lesser alternative to university education. But is that truly accurate? New evidence suggests otherwise.
Jun 23
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Electrical Energy efficiency Kitchens In Focus
Cooking with(out) gas
The discussion on moving away from the use of gas is heating up. But what will it mean and what are the implications for housing?
Apr 23
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Education Apprentice CPD In Focus
Progressing our industry
How do we address our skills shortage? A school-based model in Tasmania for curious students could be part of the answer for the whole country.
Mar 23
3 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Budget Small business Federal government In Focus
The way forward
There are measures the government can take to alleviate stress in our industry. These are the areas HIA has submitted to Treasury before the next Budget.
Mar 23
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Bathroom Inspiration Kitchens In Focus
From across the globe
The big topics affecting housing globally, along with new innovative products, were key features at the 2023 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.
Mar 23
3 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight