Apparently COAG has effectively given up on tackling the ever-growing problem of housing affordability in this country:
The fact that we don’t build enough housing stock is one of our most serious economic problems. It’s an issue tailor-made for a body such as COAG to try to resolve, because COAG also includes local government and housing supply takes in key Commonwealth-state issues around infrastructure provision. And last year it was prominently on the COAG agenda, with treasuries tasked to work on a review and several studies ordered, nearly all to be completed by the middle or end of 2010.
Since then, the slashing of our migration intake and the rising Australian dollar has taken some of the political heat out of the issue, without doing much about the long-term problems of poor infrastructure co-ordination and supply and tortuous development approval processes.
Was there any mention of housing yesterday? Nope. There’ll be a “standing” ministerial council on the issue, but all the work that COAG committed to previously on housing supply and affordability that was supposed to have been done by the end of last year seems to have fallen off the agenda, just like that.
I presume everyone at the meeting already owns their own homes and doesn’t really care if their kids never leave the nest. And the above doesn’t include COAG contemplating the other policies that have inflated the market out of all affordability – negative gearing, CGT reductions, easy credit for existing landowners with the banks protected by mortgage insurance…
How can these officials not see how much condemning this and future generations to a world in which only those who inherit a house can ever hope to own one is going to damage our country? How a nation of tenants and landlords will undermine social cohesion?
Looks like my generally pessimistic view of this aspect of the country’s future was depressingly accurate.
Damnit! I was hoping this wouldn’t happen, that something I hadn’t considered would come about and salvage the situation.
The only thing I want more to be wrong about is climate change.