Queensland’s opposition has accused the Labor government of breaking an election promise not to sell assets after it announced it will open up land for community and social housing projects.
A day before the state budget, the government revealed it will open up large tracts of land to developers and allocate $1.8 billion over 10 years to build 4522 social homes and 1034 affordable homes.
The plan is front-loaded, with around 600 houses a year to be built on sites across the state for the first five years.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday shared her personal history, of her grandparents and parents living in community housing before eventually owning their own home.
She said her government will partner with the private sector to develop state-owned land for the low cost housing.
“We are looking at partnering with the private sector where we have under-utilised land to build housing on that land,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“There’s many examples of where that has happened in the past.”
But Liberal National Party leader Tim Nicholls has accused the government of selling off assets. “Land sales are absolutely asset sales and that’s a broken promise by Annastacia Palaszczuk,” he told reporters.
Mr Nicholls also pointed out Labor last year scrapped the Logan Housing Initiative, which would have seen 2600 homes built south of Brisbane.
The government will also change the means test required for community housing, to allow adult children living with their family to earn a wage without affecting their parents’ subsidised home. Housing Minister Mick de Brenni says the means test will be dropped for people under 25, removing a disincentive to find work.
“This is the most significant initiative to breaking the cycle of inter-generational disadvantage that we’ve seen in Australia’s history,” Mr de Brenni said.
The social housing component of the package will focus on housing for victims of domestic violence, as well as seniors and people with a disability.
Social welfare group QCOSS, as well as the Housing Industry Association, both welcomed the government’s plan, saying it will deliver for the building and construction sector, as well as give people more options for housing.