Dr HAINES (Indi) (18:52): by leave—I move amendments (5) and (6), as circulated in my name, together:

(5) Clause 9, page 7 (after line 2), at the end of paragraph (2)(c), add:

(ix) geographical location;

(6) Clause 22, page 13 (after line 22), after paragraph (2)(j), insert:

(ja) regional, rural and remote housing policy;

My amendments will ensure that at least one member of the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council has demonstrated and relevant experience or expertise on housing needs in regional, rural and remote Australia. Ensuring a member of this council has expert knowledge on the particular housing needs of regional, rural and remote Australia is crucial if we’re going to address this housing crisis. We need to hear about the experiences, the challenges and the know-how of regional Australians. Otherwise, we’re at the risk of another government policy on housing that does nothing for rural, regional and remote Australians. We need a truly representative council if the government is going to distribute the fund equitably and in the areas that need it most. These amendments that I put to the House today are one small way that we can ensure this.

My amendments will also make sure that the council considers the impacts of geographical location on housing supply, affordability and demand. Living in regional or remote areas of Australia presents challenges that are different from the cities, and we’ve heard a lot about that today. Incomes are lower, rates are lower, land availability is different, and the types of houses that we need are different.

I want to thank the minister for the way that she has engaged with me on all of the amendments I’ve put forward today. And I understand that she will be supporting these amendments. We’ll continue working with them, and with her department. I thank her staff as well. I want to make sure—and I know my colleagues here want to make sure as well—that regional, rural and remote Australia is at the forefront of good, sensible housing policy.

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