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IGR highlights importance of skilled migration in meeting Australia's housing needs

Media release

IGR highlights importance of skilled migration in meeting Australia's housing needs

Media release
“The latest Intergenerational Report forecasts average GDP growth of just 2.2 per cent per annum over the next 40 years, considerably lower than the 2.6 per cent forecast in the last IGR,” stated HIA Senior Economist Tom Devitt.

The Intergenerational Report is the Government’s long-term planning document. It considers the long-term fiscal impact and sustainability of current policies and provides an insight as to how the Government sees the future.

“The downward revision to Australia’s future economic growth is driven by a projected decline in population growth to just 1.1 per cent per annum over the next 40 years, compared to 1.4 per cent over the previous 40 years, and 1.6 per cent in the 15 years before the pandemic,” added Mr Devitt.

“Slowing population growth, combined with the added pressures of an ageing population, will make it harder to find the skills we need.

“Shortages of skilled labour have constrained the home building industry for much of the past 20 years. We need to look at ways to boost the housing sector’s capacity to ensure we are able to meet the Australian Government’s recently announced housing targets.

“This will require the continued training and upskilling of current and future Australian workers in the housing industry, along with access to a steady flow of skilled workers from overseas.

“Skilled migration will not only help us meet our housing demands. It will also help mitigate the effects of Australia’s ageing population on economic growth, productivity and living standards.

“This report highlights that going forward, not only do we need to build more houses, but we need to become more efficient at doing so. Key to doing that will be removing existing barriers to housing investment and homeownership.

“Higher density housing development needs to do more of the heavy lifting to meet our housing needs. This requires planning reforms that support faster delivery. Allowing more people to live close to jobs and transport will have significant benefits in terms of productivity and economic growth, as well as facilitating the efficient use of existing infrastructure. 

“We can’t afford to keep waiting decades to bring new homes on the ground. The predicted slowdown in economic activity in the IGR must not impede the delivery of the 1.2 million homes National Cabinet committed to last week. 

“Given the central role housing plays in the economy, all levels of government must move quickly now to smooth the way for the timely approval and construction of new homes in all forms. Australians have a right to choose where they live, what they live in and, most importantly, be able to find that home at a price they can afford.” 

For more information please contact:

Thomas Devitt

HIA Senior Economist

Joe Shanahan

Manager, Communications & Media
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