CFMEU Calls for Labor Govt to Increase Housing Fund Ambitions


The CFMEU has urged the Albanese Government to ramp up its ambition on the Housing Australia Future Fund, which needs more investment to deliver strong outcomes for workers and social housing residents. The government’s $10 billion future fund is slated to spend $500 million a year with the aim of building 30,000 homes over five years. Unmet demand for social and affordable housing is estimated to be at 650,000 homes. Incoming CFMEU National Secretary Zach Smith on Tuesday called on Federal Labor to increase its commitment or risk the fund’s failure. “Australia is in the grips of one of the most serious housing crises in our history so what’s on the table simply doesn’t cut it,” Mr Smith said. “Labor must be more ambitious on social housing. The future fund proposal needs its funding to be dramatically increased if we’re going to go anywhere near meeting the skyrocketing need for housing. “This is a golden nation-building opportunity. We need to ensure this fund has strict requirements to train Australian apprentices and use high-quality locally manufactured materials. “A more ambitious investment is a massive long-term opportunity for Australian jobs and industry but it needs to come with a commitment on local procurement and training. “It’s absolutely crucial these houses are built by fairly paid workers who are protected by the very best safety standards. “A housing future fund is a massive chance to build a stronger construction industry through top-notch jobs, skills, safety and local procurement. “The government should be listening to the Senate cross bench – David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie are two of the most sensible voices in this debate. “The verdict is in from experts, the sector, industry super and crossbench senators – the government’s commitment simply isn’t enough. “CFMEU members stand ready to embark on a nation-building program of social housing which eases the crisis and provides workers with good jobs in construction.”

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