If Australia is to retain its AAA credit rating, it must start to meet the needs of our changing demographics, says HIA Chief Economist, Harley Dale.
The HIA, the voice of Australia’s residential construction industry, says a strong national focus on housing is critical.
“Residential building activity has been the engine room of the Australian economy for the past four years. It has filled the void left by a contracting mining sector, and has gained some ground on a decade of undersupply in new housing. But there’s much more that needs to be done if Australia is to defend its AAA credit rating,” Mr Dale said.
“The incoming Commonwealth Government needs to focus on building the new homes for our growing population, meeting the housing needs of our changing demographics, addressing the housing affordability challenges confronting younger generations, supporting the 321,595 businesses that operate across the residential building industry, and importantly, enabling the industry to grow and expand its contribution to the Australian economy.
“Australia needs a Commonwealth Housing Minister – a senior Minister in cabinet to provide national leadership, to coordinate federal, state and local government housing programs, to guide important industry policy reform nationally, and ensure housing has a front seat in cabinet discussions around taxation reform, national budget repair, infrastructure and workforce development.
“External rating agencies and organisations like the IMF are watching our economy closely, particularly housing, and are clearly looking for economic focus, leadership and policy reform. Reform is the key; while procrastination could well be the nation’s Achilles heel. A lack of federal focus on housing policy reform increases the chance of a ratings downgrade.”
Housing Australians, HIA’s Federal Election Policy Imperatives, provided the blueprint for Government to develop and deliver a comprehensive and meaningful suite of goals, programs and action plans to promote strong and sustainable housing activity and new housing supply.