Strong national focus crucial
ENSURING a strong national focus on housing is critical to retaining Australia’s AAA credit rating, says the Housing Industry Association (HIA).
“Residential building activity has been the engine room of the Australian economy for the past four years,” HIA’s chief economist Harley Dale said.
“It has filled the void left by a contracting mining sector, and has gained some ground on a decade of under supply in new housing,” he said.
“But there’s much more that needs to be done if Australia is to defend its AAA credit rating.”
Dr Dale said the incoming Commonwealth Government needed to focus on building new homes for the country’s growing population, meeting the housing needs of the nation’s changing demographics, addressing the housing affordability challenges confronting younger generations, supporting the 321,595 businesses that operate across the residential building industry, and importantly, enabling the industry to grow and expand its contribution to the Australian economy.
“The industry generates over $160 billion in national GDP each year, contributes $77 billion in taxes, provides jobs for over one million workers and touches the lives of every Australian every day,” he said.
“Australia needs a Housing Minister to provide national leadership, to co-ordinate federal, state and local government housing programs, to guide important industry policy reform, and ensure housing has a front seat in cabinet discussions around taxation reform, national budget repair, infrastructure and workforce development.”