Question: COST OF LIVING
The Hon. J.S. LEE (14:36):
I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development a question about the cost of living.
The Hon. J.S. LEE:
Nearly one in three Australians who are renting or borrowing say that they won't be able to afford escalating costs if the Reserve Bank continues to lift interest rates over the coming months. ANZ economists are predicting a steep rise in the cash rate to 2.5 per cent by the middle of next year. Such a rise would lead to an increase in repayments on a 30-year $500,000 loan by nearly a third, rising by $629 to $2,780 a month.
Both the Barossa and Yorke Peninsula have rental vacancies of 1 per cent or lower and there are reports of families in the Riverland and other regions resorting to staying at friends' houses or even in caravan parks as they are unable to secure private rental properties or can't afford to pay rent at all. My questions to the minister are:
1. What is the government's plan to find accommodation for vulnerable individuals and families living in the regions?
2. Can the minister explain what measures the government will put in place for regional families who are facing the prospect of defaulting on their loans or no longer being able to pay their rent?
The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:38):
I thank the honourable member for her question. Several of the aspects that she has included in her questions are the responsibility of other ministers and I will refer those parts of the questions to the appropriate ministers in the other place. But I do think it is worth mentioning that obviously the issues around regional housing have been there for some time. A failure by the former government to address those issues which have emerged, certainly at least over the last four years, is something that is incredibly disappointing.
Whilst I certainly will refer some of those cost-of-living questions to the appropriate minister in the other place, it is also worth mentioning of course that an increase in the minimum wage that was announced this week will certainly go some way to assisting in cost-of-living pressures, but of course there needs to be far more done. Unfortunately, we didn't see that in the last four years of the Marshall Liberal government, and we certainly didn't see it in the umpteen years under various leaders of the federal government whilst the Liberals were in government nationally.
Answer on 7 July 2022 -
The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries):
The Minister for Housing and Urban Development has advised:
Relevant ministers and executives from the South Australian Housing Authority and Department of Human Services along with Minister Champion and Renewal SA met with councils and groups in the South-East recently at the first community cabinet. This helped to understand the unique and up to date issues facing each of the individual council areas and towns. The issues to each area are unique. Some of the issues are access to housing, crisis accommodation and others are key worker housing for employment industries. We have since been in contact with councils and will be working with them on what is needed and what can be done in partnership.