Home » Cut state governments out of housing infrastructure building: Sukkar – realestate.com.au

Cut state governments out of housing infrastructure building: Sukkar – realestate.com.au

Federal shadow housing minister Michael Sukkar wants to directly fund local governments to deliver housing infrastructure like utilities, cutting state governments out of the process.  

The comments are likely to provoke the ire of state governments, which play a key role in housing and infrastructure planning processes across the country.  

Housing infrastructure, such as roads, water, sewage and power connections, has been identified as a priority to boosting supply due to a lack of land that is ready to build on nationwide.  

“We see the federal government working much more closely and directly with local governments as being the key to many of the housing supply challenges in rural and regional Australia,” Mr Sukkar told the National Regional Housing Summit in Canberra on Friday. 

“In the spirit of working more closely with local governments, and to be blunt, to try and cut out the state governments where possible within the constraints of the constitution, we will be looking closely at how we can directly fund and co-fund the sort of enabling infrastructure … that unlocks housing supply.”

Mr Sukkar said the next election would determine whether owning a home was a realistic expectation for many Australians.  

He said many people, especially younger Australians, believed that owning a home was out of reach.  

“We have a short window of opportunity to address it in my view and it requires pretty radical action,” Mr Sukkar said.  

“As a housing minister in the previous government, I can tell you I worked very hard to connect with, incentivise and encourage state and territory treasurers, planning and housing ministers, and others, to really embrace what was in their control and run with it, and it didn’t happen.”  

“At the same time, in working with local government, it became abundantly clear that every attempt of state governments to take more responsibility from local governments ended up working very badly, not just for local communities but also with fewer homes being delivered.” 

The previous federal government established the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to help fund roads and utilities, which has been continued under the current government.

The call comes after the federal, state and territory governments agreed last year to a national target of building 1.2 million homes over the next five years. 

Housing infrastructure, such as utilities and roads, has been identified as a priority to boosting supply. Picture: Getty

Federal government marks milestone

Earlier today, the federal government announced that the Home Guarantee Scheme had helped more than 100,000 people into a home since May 2022. 

Almost one in three first-home buyers in 2022-23 were supported by the scheme, comprising the First Home Guarantee, the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee and the Family Home Guarantee.  

The federal government said it had assisted more than 15,000 people across regional Australia into home ownership since October 2022.  

It is also planning to rollout its help-to-buy scheme later this year, which will help eligible homebuyers with an equity contribution of up to 40% for new homes and 30% for existing homes. 

“Our ambitious housing reform agenda is working across the board – more help for homebuyers, more help for renters and more help for Australians needing a safe place for the night,” federal housing minister Julie Collins said.