Is the Liberal Party set to re-hash its super for housing policy?

Australia's three largest political parties have started outlining competing pitches to solve the housing crisis.

Australia's three largest political parties have started outlining competing pitches to solve the housing crisis. Photo: Getty

The Liberal Party looks poised to once again advocate for letting Australians raid their superannuation for housing if elected, after promoting one of its biggest advocates to the shadow ministry.

Andrew Bragg, who was announced as Coalition’s shadow assistant minister for housing on Tuesday, has called for Australians to be able to access their super for housing deposits and mortgage offsets.

Bragg said it is unacceptable that many Australians feel the dream of owning a home is out of reach.

“Home ownership has an unparalleled economic and social benefit,” he said on Tuesday.

“The key determinant of success in retirement is your home-ownership status, not your super balance.”

Michael Sukkar, shadow minister for housing and Bragg’s boss, signalled after the appointment that the Liberal Party will keep its policy of allowing people to withdraw $50,000 from their super for housing costs and potentially expand it if elected.

“We will have more to say about that policy and the range of other policies,” he told ABC Afternoon Briefing.

“It will be refreshed in the context of what we take to the next election.”

Andrew Bragg media ownership

Coalition Senator Andrew Bragg has been promoted to the shadow ministry. Photo: AAP

Housing crisis

Dr Michael Fotheringham, managing director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, said the Coalition’s policy risks pushing house prices even higher.

“It also puts people’s retirement income at serious risk,” he said.

“The Coalition has been pretty quiet about housing since going into opposition, so I suspect we’ll see some new energy in that space.”

He said long-term and non-partisan agreement on policy is necessary to solve housing affordability and availability issues.

“It’s been disappointing seeing things in recent months like the Senate inquiry into worsening rent,” he said.

“We had three separate chapters from the government, the Greens and the Coalition, and then another one from the independents that essentially had the same positions they went into the inquiry with.”

Alongside the Albanese government’s housing policy and the yet-to-be-announced suite of policies from the Liberal Party, the Greens have also announced an ambitious new plan of their own.

A public developer

Max Chandler-Mather, the Greens spokesperson for housing, announced that the Greens will take a policy of creating a public developer to the next federal election.

He said at the National Press Club that the government-ran developer will sell houses under market rates, offer cheap rentals and challenge private developers in the housing market.

“Under the Greens plan, the public developer would build 360,000 good quality homes over the next five years, representing about 30 per cent of Australia’s existing construction capacity,” he said.

“The public developer would employ its own town planners, architects, and project managers and get the government back in the business of building good homes.”

Chandler-Mather faced off against Mike Zorbas, Property Council of Australia chief executive, at the National Press Club on Wednesday. Photo: AAP

Zorbas rebuked the plan during his speech, and Fothering said it fails to acknowledge the role private developers and state and local governments play in building social and affordable housing.

“A federal government, without any experience in delivering housing, just up and doing it more efficiently is pretty optimistic,” he said.

“It’s an interesting thought experiment, but in terms of actually rolling this out as a policy, there’s a real need to build much stronger collaboration with all the other players.”


The Senate will examine the Albanese government’s help-to-buy policy – where the government becomes a partial owner of a privately owned property – in the coming weeks.

Fotheringham said the policy is the first of its kind in Australia for a federal government, but it will build on “extensive experience at the state level”.

“That’s a really important step in helping people into home ownership,” he said.

“We’ve got the half bill coming through and the Housing and Homelessness Plan heading towards release.”

The Housing and Homelessness Plan is also earmarked to include a 15 per cent increase in government rental assistance, $350 million over five years to build 10,000 affordable homes and strengthening rental rights.

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