Australia should follow the lead of New Zealand and Canada and ban foreign ownership of residential property to help fix the growing national housing crisis.
One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson said Australia also needed to reduce immigration to sustainable levels to help make more housing available to Australian families.
“Many countries don’t allow foreign ownership of land or housing, but it’s open slather for foreign investors in Australia’s overheated residential property market,” Senator Hanson said. “Housing is in extremely short supply with many thousands of Australians now struggling to buy or rent a home, but from 2023 the government will bring in 213,000 immigrants per year – more than the entire population of Hobart.
“We’re struggling – and failing – to secure accommodation for people already living in Australia but the government is only adding to the problem with these huge numbers.”
Senator Hanson said AMP’s chief economist Shane Oliver last year warned increased immigration would drive house prices 5% higher and rents 7% higher in 2023.
“A 2018 housing affordability study by the Grattan Institute estimated that 450-550 new homes were needed in Australia for every 1000 new immigrants,” she said. “That means more than 100,000 new homes will need to be built every year just to accommodate new immigrants at a time when we can’t even keep up with the housing needs of those already here.
“This same study said that unless state governments reform their planning systems – and there is no indication they will – the Commonwealth should ‘consider tapping the brake on Australia’s migrant intake’.
“One Nation puts Australia and Australians first. We want to reduce immigration to no more than 100,000 per year to reduce demand for housing, and ban foreign ownership of residential property (both new and established housing) to increase the supply of housing – foreign owners would be given a 12-month grace period to sell Australian residential property. New Zealand banned foreign ownership in 2018 and Canada recently introduced a two-year ban as well.
“National Cabinet was formed to address the COVID-19 pandemic but we face a new crisis now – housing availability and affordability – which will require coordination and leadership from the Commonwealth, states and territories.
“I’ll be pushing for the National Cabinet to return to the table and develop a comprehensive response to our housing crisis, with planning reform and stamp duty reform at the state level and restrictions on foreign ownership implemented at the Federal level.
“And until we’ve regained the capacity to secure accommodation and housing for Australians living in Australia, we must reduce immigration. Let’s catch our breath, focus on meeting the needs of people already living here, and then have a serious and sensible debate on whether or not we really want or need a big Australia.
“I’m very confident most Australians are not in favour of a big Australia, and it’s about time the major parties recognised this and put in place an immigration policy which reflects what the electorate wants.”