You will have seen that the new Morrison Government has appointed a Minister for Housing under the Treasury umbrella.
The appointment of Michael Sukkar to this role, as well as Assistant Treasurer, should not be underestimated. It is not only a major win for the REIA but demonstrates what can be achieved by working with Government and sustained advocacy.
REIA has recommended to Government through the annual Pre Budget process for a number of years that a dedicated Minister for Housing be appointed as recognition of the importance that the property sector plays in the economy. The property sector is one of the largest sectors in the Australian economy in terms of employment, GDP and investment and has been the driver of economic growth since the decline in investment in the mining sector commenced. The placement within the Treasury, the Government’s major economic department and source of taxation advice to Government, acknowledges its importance and integration within the Australian economy.
In more recent times other industry bodies in the property sector have supported REIA’s push on this matter.
Such an appointment was a critical element of REIA’s holistic election platform that it advocated to both Government and the Opposition in the months leading up to the election.
As recently as last week when the now Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters visited REIA’s offices in Canberra to congratulate REIA on its election campaign, the matter of a Minister for Housing was again pushed for. Following this discussion, REIA again advocated its position with the Prime Minister’s office.
The timing of this was critical as the Prime Minister was considering portfolios and appointments.
REIA has had a productive relationship with Michael Sukkar when he was Assistant Treasurer prior to the change in Prime Ministers last year and looks forward to working closely with him on the implementation of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme announced during the election campaign and other housing initiatives. The REIA has also written to the new Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, and congratulated him on his appointment. We are pleased that the Opposition has committed to reviewing the policies it took to the election and will work with them in addressing the complex issue of housing affordability.
REIA will be working with both the Government and the Opposition to develop practical policies for the housing sector over the next electoral cycle.