RCV has welcomed the National Cabinet’s revised target to build an extra 1.2 million homes nationally and the injection of $500 million in new-housing incentives for local and state governments.
The new agreement adds an extra 200,000 new homes to the National Housing Accord target agreed by the states and territories in 2022.
The new target is supported by a $500 million competitive funding program for local and state governments to kick-start housing supply.
Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese said: “Connecting to sewerage, connecting to water, connecting to energy supplies. In short, upfront money to get housing moving quickly.”
Welcoming the announcement, RCV Chair Cr Mary-Ann Brown said:
“Small rural councils lack the resources to invest in the necessary infrastructure – such as sewerage and water – to support the construction of new homes that rural communities desperately need.”
“If the $500 million was to be divided equally between each of Australia’s 537 local governments, each would be eligible for less than $1 million.
The announcement from National Cabinet specifies the new housing supply to be in “well-located areas”. RCV contends that rural centres and small towns are well located to serve the economic needs of those areas and fill the worker shortages and downsizer demand in country Victoria.
“While the $500 million is a good start, more funding will be needed, and new approaches explored.
“It is imperative that rural communities – which form the bedrock of Australia’s food production and are vital to the nation’s ongoing food security – get their fair share of funding for key worker housing and the variety of housing types that rural communities need.
“There are also several other issues impacting the development of new homes, including shortages of planners and qualified trades people, issues not addressed by the announcement.
“RCV’s Rural Victoria Housing Blueprint report, by SGS Economics & Planning, found that rural Victorian communities will need 87,400 new homes by 2036.
“As well as the human tragedy of children and adults not having homes, failure to provide the extra homes could mean annual Gross Regional Product losses across rural Victoria of between $200 million and $1 billion, the report found.” Cr Brown said rural Councils Victoria would continue to advocate at state and federal levels to ensure rural Victorian communities are not overlooked.”