Housing Affordability

Mr CLARE (Blaxland) (13:48): Lots of people are struggling to pay the rent. If you’re one of those people, you might be surprised to learn that last year governments right across the country set up rent relief funds to help people who were struggling because they’d lost their job because of COVID. But you probably don’t know about these funds because most of the money in them has never been given to the people who need them. The worst case is New South Wales. Almost 12 months ago, the New South Wales Liberal government made a big song and dance about a rent relief fund worth $220 million to help people struggling to pay the rent because of COVID. They called it a rental rescue package. Guess how much of this rescue package has actually gone out to help people struggling to pay the rent? Only 4.6 per cent of it. It’s unbelievable! It’s just a con. They made a big announcement and then did nothing. It is just like this government here in Canberra, this Prime Minister, this government. It was straight out of the same playbook. To make it even worse, the New South Wales government is now planning to fold this scheme up at the end of next week and pocket the remaining money, just as JobKeeper ends and as more people are expected to need help and more people are expected to lose their jobs. It’s as if there were people struggling in the surf and lifesavers on the beach were packing up and going home. It’s just wrong. The New South Wales government needs to fix this, not fold it up.