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16th April 2024

I rise to speak in support of the Miles government’s Housing Availability and Affordability (Planning and Other Legislation Amendment) Bill and the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill.

Before I speak to that, I put on the record an acknowledgement of the great work that my electorate staff do in addressing housing and homelessness and of the many community groups and community housing organisations that operate in my electorate and really are on the frontline of this issue.

Both of these bills represent part of the Miles Labor government’s commitment to building more well-located homes faster.

I start with the Housing Availability and Affordability (Planning and Other Legislation Amendment) Bill.

This bill amends the Planning Act 2016 to optimise the planning framework’s response to current housing challenges through a suite of new tools.

The need for more housing is an issue facing the country and Queensland is no exception.

More than 125,000 people are moving to Queensland each year. In South-East Queensland alone, population growth means we will need an extra 900,000 homes by 2046.

That growth comes in the middle of an already strained housing market.

To ensure we maintain our great Queensland lifestyle, we need to plan for that growth.

We need to be able to pull new levers in the planning and development system to deliver more homes where they are needed faster.

To that effect, one of the bill’s provisions will create a reserve power for the state in the Planning Act to take or purchase land or create easements for planning purposes in order to facilitate the delivery of development infrastructure to unlock development.

Planning reform like this is critical for the future of Queensland’s housing, although I note that those opposite and some on the crossbench do not necessarily agree.

Indeed, one of the crossbench’s federal colleagues, the member for Griffith, proclaimed on national television that it is just not true about putting more supply in the market.

I would ask those members of the crossbench—that is, the Greens—whether or not they agree with their federal colleagues.

In the interests of time, I will move to the other bill being considered in this debate, the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill.

This is fundamentally a bill for Queensland’s construction sector which, in turn, is a key economic driver for our state.

The building industry generates around $50 billion per year for Queensland’s economy and employs an estimated 250,000 workers.

It is an industry that will continue to support more and more Queensland jobs as it delivers new housing and infrastructure, including our Homes for Queenslanders plan.

Under the Queensland building plan, our government has created a safer, fairer and more sustainable construction industry, along with increased protections for consumers.

We have introduced nation-leading protections against the use of nonconforming building products that ensure the building materials used in Queensland are compliant with relevant standards, fit for purpose and meet community expectations.

Through all of these enhancements to the building and construction industry, our strong focus has been on improving security of payment protections for subcontractors.

The cornerstone of these protections is the project trust account framework enshrined in the Building Industry Fairness Act.

We believe that, if you do the work, you should be paid in full, on time and every time.

This bill supports the continued rollout of the trust account framework by making it easier for industry to comply.

To support industry to manage their business, accounting and financial responsibilities, the bill allows contractors to get on with their work delivering our Big Build.

Our government will always back fairness and transparency in our construction industry.

This stands in stark contrast to how those opposite conducted themselves while in office.

The difference between this side of the House and theirs is that we regulate for a fair and equitable building industry while those opposite will cut, sack and sell.

I commend these bills to the House.

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