12 November 2021

Queanbeyan-Palerang needs a housing strategy to guide future housing development, provide more affordable housing and ensure people are not forced into homelessness.

Greens candidate for QPRC, Katrina Willis, said the cost of housing was moving beyond the reach of low to modest income earners, both those looking to buy a home and those who rent.

“We need to ensure that people are not priced out of living in our towns and villages or pushed into homelessness,” Ms Willis said. “This includes workers delivering essential services who may be in contract and part-time employment.

“While certain factors influencing the cost of housing are outside the responsibility of local government, councils do have some powers. Councils determine zonings and plan for housing development. Some councils own affordable housing properties which they manage or contract to housing trusts.

“Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) has left it to the private sector to address affordable housing but this isn’t working. Prices are rising even as thousands of new dwellings are being built and more planned.

“The Greens will work on QPRC to develop a housing strategy. We need to better understand the issues in each urban area and develop options to address them. Solutions need to be tailored to the needs of each town and village.

The Wingecarribee Shire Council local housing strategy is a good example. It sets out eight guiding principles, including recognising housing as a fundamental requirement,  not a speculative asset. Like QPRC, Wingecarribee has numerous towns and villages with unique characteristics and its proximity to Sydney is akin to the pressures of Queanbeyan’s proximity to Canberra with rocketing house prices.

One of the options that councils have is to levy developers to contribute to the provision of new affordable housing. This is covered in State Environmental Planning Policy 70.

Greens on QPRC will also press for additional government-funded social and public housing.

The Australian Greens have pledged to build 1 million public and social housing homes if they share the balance of power after the Federal election. The Greens also are working for taxation reform to support affordable housing.