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Denita Wawn interview with Laura Jayes, AM Agenda Sky News Australia


Event: Denita Wawn interview with Laura Jayes, AM Agenda Sky News Australia
Date: Wednesday 26 October 2022, 10.50am AEDT
Speakers: Laura Jayes, host AM Agenda Sky News Australia, Denita Wawn CEO Master Builders Australia Topics: Budget, Housing Accord

Laura Jayes, host AM Agenda Sky News Australia: Joining us live now is Master Builders Australia CEO

Denita Wawn: Denita, great to see you. The practicalities of this, if you will, is the industry equipped and prepared to build these homes in 2024?

Denita Wawn, CEO Master Builders Australia: Hopefully we will be by 2024.

Laura: So not yet?

Denita: Not yet. We’re dealing with labour shortages, we’re dealing with massive material costs and battling lots of changes to regulation in the building industry. So we need to be ready but equally believe with this commitment that the state, local and federal government will be ready for us to tackle the housing shortage. We must build 200,000 homes each year, basically for the next ten years, to ensure we can house enough Australians. And our forecasts show that we’re going to fall significantly below that margin.

Laura: What’s the average now, or outside of COVID times, if you like?

Denita: Outside of COVID times it was hitting around about 180,000-185,000. But we’re forecasting that it can down as low as 160,000 in 2024. That’s why this Accord was so imperative. But the other important thing about this Accord was that we actually look at the fundamental problems. And a lot of that is around supply which is under the control of the state and territory governments and local governments.

Laura: Okay. One of the biggest parts of this puzzle is not only state governments and councils being on board but also investment from superannuation funds. Why would superannuation funds invest and expect a return when there’s such a big cohort of social housing?

Denita: Well the really important thing is that is can’t just be social housing. At the end of the day as a superannuation fund, and I’m a superannuation director myself, we have to under law get good returns for our members. And at the moment a lot of the time it doesn’t stack up. And so we need changes within the system, mainly in that planning stage, the delays in development, land access and of course planning with zoning requirements, is constantly negating developer interest in this space. So that is
why the three levels of government along with investment capacity of superannuation and the industry working together to get over these decades long policy barriers to resolving the housing crisis. It’s not a simple solution. Last night was just a good start. There’s a long way to go in making sure this can work.

Laura: Right. Sounds like we need a lot more detail there. Denita, thanks so much for your feedback. Appreciate it.

Media contact:
Dee Zegarac
National Director, Media & Public Affairs
0400 493 071

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