Queensland Premier Steven Miles has today announced a wide-ranging $3.1 billion investment in housing to help supply keep up with the state's booming population, taking steps towards improving the lot of renters as well as the homeless.
The Homes for Queensland package includes an ambitious goal to build one million homes by 2046, and as part of that the government will lease public land at Varsity Lakes, Mango Hill and Pimlico to developers in order to progress three new sites.
To put this target into context, over the last eight years the government estimates there have been 330,000 new homes built in the Sunshine State. To build one million homes, construction would need to be 10 per cent faster than it has been in recent history.
Other highlights of the plan include a doubling of the Queensland First Home Owner Grant to $30,000, a home finance loan pilot in regional areas, an increased duration for the rental security subsidy, as well as funding bond loans and portable bonds while putting a ban on rent bidding.
Miles says the government will also make the largest investment in social housing in the history of Queensland with a target of 53,500 social homes by 2046.
He adds that the Homes for Queenslanders plan sets a clear target to end homelessness, and will be increasing homelessness services by 20 per cent.
"My goal is to have offered shelter to every single Queenslander sleeping rough," he says.
The Premier emphasises that Queensland's population has grown by 330,000 people since 2020, which is why the government is embarking on 'the largest infrastructure program in Queensland’s history'.
"We can all be proud of creating a place that’s so attractive. But that appeal brings challenges too. Unlike previous periods of mass migration, many of the people moving here are either coming for study or are already university educated," he says.
"So these new Queenslanders aren’t people taking up the tools to build new houses. Across the country there is now a shortage of full-time construction workers. It's an issue that I’ve raised with the Prime Minister. And he and I are working together on solutions."
Miles says the population influx since 2020, boosted by 133,000 interstate migrants and 115,000 people from overseas since international borders reopened, is equivalent to 'adding another Townsville and Rockhampton to our state'.
"All these people need access - not just to housing - but to hospitals, roads, energy infrastructure, transport and schools. That’s why we’re delivering Queensland’s big build," he says.
Miles notes that one of his first decisions as Premier was to appoint Meaghan Scanlon as dedicated Minister for Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works.
"This is a housing mega-portfolio with all the levers state government can pull to deliver more housing in the social sector and the private market," he says.
"This record financial investment is significant, but the mechanisms matter too.
"To ensure Homes for Queenslanders delivers, I have asked Minister Scanlon to refocus the Housing Roundtable to an implementation taskforce of key stakeholders who will help us achieve a better housing system, because good governments partner with the right expertise."
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