Malinauskas’ new “super” housing portfolio must provide help, not hype

Malinauskas’ new “super” housing portfolio must provide help, not hype

Posted on: 23 April 2024

The Opposition is concerned Labor’s “new housing super portfolio” is yet another headline from Peter Malinauskas, with no substance behind it in terms of solving South Australia’s housing crisis.

Yesterday, it was announced as part of the Malinauskas Labor Government’s cabinet reshuffle that Nick Champion will continue to be responsible for addressing the housing crisis but with added responsibilities including Housing SA and SA Water.

Labor has form when it comes to big announcements with no results, which was highlighted in last week’s Economic and Finance Committee. Renewal SA Chief Executive, Chris Menz, admitted the much-publicised Dry Creek land release of 10,000 allotments is not the “fast track” to more housing as promised by Peter Malinauskas more than a year ago.

Mr Menz told the Parliamentary Committee he believes “it is likely to be a band of time that will exceed five years in terms of when it can go to market”. He also described Dry Creek as an “incredibly complex” site and “there are a range of issues associated with it”.

This puts nearly half of the Malinauskas Labor Government’s “historic” land release in serious jeopardy. The revelation comes off the back of data released last week which shows new home commencements are set to drop by 28.4 per cent next financial year.

Shadow Minister for Housing Affordability and Urban Development, Michelle Lensink, said she hopes the new housing portfolio isn’t just another case of Labor lip-service.

“When it comes to Peter Malinauskas, his housing announcements are all glitter and no gold,” Ms Lensink said.

“Labor acted like their land release announcement was a game-changer for South Australia’s housing woes, but far from being on the ‘fast track’, a year on and not a single new house has been built and I’m concerned that the Dry Creek project will never actually get off the ground.

“We know increasing supply is crucial when it comes to improving the availability and affordability of housing, and that can’t happen overnight, but Peter Malinauskas appears to continue to overpromise and underdeliver.”

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said with Adelaide having the nation’s tightest rental market with a vacancy rate of 0.83 per cent, and a new record median house price of $740,000, Peter Malinauskas must be sincere when it comes to improving housing outcomes.

“Peter Malinauskas loves a great headline, but South Australians want housing measures that make a lasting impact,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“Just this week, the Opposition revealed that only 1,169 applications have been successful for Labor’s stamp duty relief scheme for first home buyers – well short of Peter Malinauskas’ own expectations and an embarrassingly low number during a housing crisis.

“Peter Malinauskas and his new Housing Minister need to move beyond rhetoric and make easing South Australia’s housing crisis a reality.”