Housing Affordability

9th June 2021

Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie) (17:00): I move:

That this House:

(1)Notes the current housing crisis in New South Wales.

(2)Notes that housing costs in New South Wales and in particular regional areas have skyrocketed over the past year.

(3)Notes that rental vacancies in some regional areas are at their lowest levels in decades.

(4)Notes the rising number of homeless and that social housing is in drastically short supply.

(5)Calls on the Government to take immediate steps to improve housing affordability in New South Wales and urgently increase investment in social housing in regional areas.

There really is no dispute that parts of this State are currently experiencing a housing crisis which they have not seen for many decades, possibly not since the Great Depression. House prices are skyrocketing, young people are facing the prospect of never being able to afford their own home near any of our major cities, rental vacancies in regional areas are at historic lows and more people are being left without a roof over their heads at all. While some are benefitting massively from huge capital gains, more and more people are being left behind and unable to get into the market, unable to afford a roof over their family's heads or unable to even find a home to live in. We are not just in the midst of a house price boom; we are in the midst of a housing crisis.

Some of the most recent data on housing affordability includes that in Sydney, the median house price is now well over $1.3 million. In 156 Sydney suburbs, every house sold so far this year has sold for more than $1 million, including in two suburbs which are 70 kilometres from the city centre. In 39 Sydney suburbs, the median house price is now $3 million or more. In the first few months of this year, house prices in Sydney rose by roughly $50,000 per month. The median house price in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie has just surged past $700,000 with growth rates outstripping those anywhere else in the country. Rental vacancies in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie are currently moving between 0.2 and 0.7 per cent. The average cost of rents in the entire Hunter region are up 7.8 per cent this year. Those rent hikes are reflected in regional areas throughout the State; they have increased by an extraordinary 25.7 per cent on the South Coast over the last year, 18.8 per cent in the Central Tablelands, 15.7 per cent in the Riverina, 11.6 per cent in Murray, 12.5 per cent in Broken Hill and Dubbo, and 20.4 per cent on the North Coast.

The NSW Intergenerational Report released this week shows that the percentage of New South Wales residents who own their home will decline significantly over the coming decades. This will increase demand for social housing, which the report says will cost the Government an additional $12.1 billion over the next four decades. The great Australian dream will more likely become a nightmare for many over the coming decades. I was contacted only last week by a constituent who I will not identify directly but will refer to as Melissa, although I should add that Melissa is among many in my electorate who have desperately reached out for housing assistance over the past few months. Melissa and her partner have five children. They are a good family—lifelong locals who work hard and enjoy being part of their local community. One of the children is captain of their local school and another is in year 10 studying for his school certificate.

Last year the couple had to move several suburbs away because the owner of their rental home wanted to sell. Since then, Melissa has driven the extra miles to keep the kids stable at their schools and sporting clubs. They were paying $450 a week in rent. Four weeks ago they were given an eviction notice again because the owner of the home they were renting wanted to move in. Since then, Melissa has spent every waking hour trying to find a new place to rent. She has applied for four homes every day, queued up with hundreds of others at rental inspections and has even offered up to $600 a week in a bid to secure something but without luck. She has the bond money saved, has a good rental record and a stable income and is prepared to take even a two- or three-bedroom home for the sake of keeping a roof over her family's heads. But she is four days away from being without a place to live because there simply is not the housing stock available within a 25-kilometre radius of the kids' schools. This is the heartbreaking reality being faced by thousands of people in regional New South Wales every day.

We know that much of the crisis in regional New South Wales has been caused by people leaving Sydney during the pandemic. Many have understandably cashed in on Sydney's housing price boom and moved to a place where their housing dollars buy a lot more home. They are the people who no longer need to work from a city office or who can no longer afford the big city rents and are being driven into the cheaper regional areas. There is not much anyone can do about that, but we have to respond to the pressures and negative impacts that this significant shift is having on housing affordability in regional areas and on social housing which is already in short supply. Waiting lists for social housing, particularly in regional areas such as Lake Macquarie, are extraordinarily long. The current waiting time for a two-bedroom property in Lake Macquarie is more than 10 years. The waiting time for a studio or one-bedroom property is between five and 10 years.

Yes, social housing is a difficult and complex issue for the Government to solve. I acknowledge the Government's Social and Affordable Housing Fund, which was established in 2016 and which recently delivered 94 new apartments at Cardiff in my electorate. But conservative estimates suggest that we need to be building 5,000 new dwellings each year for the next decade if future demand and current shortages are to be met. The Treasurer will be delivering the Government's 2021-22 budget in two weeks' time. I call on the Treasurer and the Government to use the opportunity to significantly invest in affordable housing throughout New South Wales. I also call on the Government to consider ways of making housing more affordable. Whether social housing, rental or by ownership, we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone has access to the safety and dignity of an appropriate home.

Mrs MELINDA PAVEY (OxleyMinister for Water, Property and Housing) (17:07): I thank the member for Lake Macquarie very much for putting forward this motion. His speech perfectly summed up the story not just for his electorate but for many electorates across the entire breadth of New South Wales. Melissa's story is profound. It is a challenge at a time when we have seen genuine property growth, which is appreciated by those that are in home ownership. It is putting pressures on other areas. Our Government is responding. Over the past decade we have increased the amount of social housing by 10 per cent. But we know that there is so much more to do.

Today I had the privilege of meeting with the member for Cootamundra and the manager of Argyle Housing in the Riverina-Cootamundra-Young area. Wendy, who works for Argyle Housing, is out in that community making a difference. I acknowledge that the member for Wagga Wagga would know Wendy well. They are in their communities and talking to the councils. A proposal in front of us today is council-bought land. Argyle Housing wants to go in and build properties. I have just got to get my agency to make a change in the ownership of one of the properties and find some accommodation. With just one property we will get how many in, Steph?

Ms Steph Cooke: Seventeen.

Mrs MELINDA PAVEY: We will get 17 new properties. The member for Lake Macquarie has 94 new properties at Cardiff. I was with our fabulous new Minister—and we are going to do incredible work together—at Redfern on Monday to view a 17-storey building. I acknowledge the work of the City of Sydney council in giving that land to the St George Community Housing project for $15 million rather than the market value of $53 million. We built a 17-storey building over nine months during COVID. Our Government is well aware of the challenges we face. That is why, for the first time in the history of New South Wales, in recent weeks I released an end-to-end housing strategy for the next 20 years. That will deal with the need we will have across the sector.

Sadly, some members on the other side of the House derided me for using the words "property developer". But builders, plumbers and electricians—all those people—as well as those in the community housing sector and in social services must be at the table to deliver the supply chain, not only for social and affordable housing but also for first home owners. It does worry me—and the member for Lake Macquarie touched on the fact that everybody has a hope and a desire for their children and for those who are close to them to own their own home. Under this strategy, all the silos will work together to ensure that supply going forward.

New South Wales is capturing most of the money from the Commonwealth's $2 billion National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation fund. We are devouring that money because community housing providers are putting in submissions for funding. I am prepared to work with whomever, whether it is with legacy or religious groups, to utilise and work on their land and to show them the way forward with assistance from local councils. There is capacity in regional areas, and Temora has certainly shown the way. I am very excited about some of the work we are doing in Kempsey, in particular, which is in my electorate. I cannot stand here and say that every box is ticked and ready to go because there are challenges with the uplift and the absolute positivity in regional New South Wales at the moment. We have a spring in our step.

I have talked to people who have had record harvests. The farmers and shop owners are happy. But with that comes people who are left behind, like Melissa, and we must be creative on their behalf. There are many people across the districts like Melissa. I would be happy to talk to any group about any solutions, but I urge members to work with community housing providers and with the NSW Land and Housing Corporation. We have made a policy change so that a direct deal can be done with a community housing provider on land that we own under the value of $6 million without having to go through a very long probity process, which can take over 12 months. The probity is in place and direct deals can now be done so that we can be nimble, we can move quickly and we can work on projects in Temora, Wagga Wagga, Griffith and Lake Macquarie. The work we are doing in the inner city is incredible. I am proud of what the Government is doing. There is a lot more to do. I thank the member for Lake Macquarie for his motion.

Dr JOE McGIRR (Wagga Wagga) (17:12): This is a timely debate. I thank the member for Lake Macquarie for moving his motion. I note at the outset that today in question time the Treasurer completely accepted the premise of the question from the member for Newtown about the need for social housing and its important role in looking after the vulnerable, which our society has a duty to provide. I note the housing Minister also spoke in support of that notion in her contribution. As we are talking about social housing, I include in that debate the needs of Indigenous housing, which is sometimes provided under a separate administration. The member for Lake Macquarie spoke about the pressures on housing, and that is certainly reflected in my electorate. At the end of April the rental vacancy rate in Wagga Wagga was 0.7 per cent, in Tumut it was 0.3 per cent and there were no vacancies in Lockhart.

This year the business round table in Wagga Wagga identified housing shortage as a major issue. The Snowy Valleys Council area lost more than 200 houses in the fires and only 20 per cent of those have been rebuilt. That council also faces pressure from the expansion of the Snowy Hydro. In Lockhart the shire council described the availability of rental properties as "little to none". The pressure on housing supply affects those who seek affordable housing. Anglicare's annual survey of rental costs, which was released in April, found that Wagga Wagga had just one listed property that was deemed affordable for an unemployed couple with children. According to Shelter NSW, there is a shortage of affordable housing across New South Wales. Many people on lower incomes are really struggling to find anything in the private rental market.

In regional areas that means families and children have had to move, which is disruptive both for them and for their communities. The shortage of affordable housing then puts pressure on social housing. Over the past decade there appears to have been no growth in social housing supply in my electorate. New housing has been constructed but only at replacement levels. The waiting list for social housing jumped from 317 to 409 in 2021, while wait times remain between two and five years. Infrastructure Australia has identified the New South Wales social housing deficit as a priority project in its Infrastructure Priority List. It stated:

Across NSW, demand for social and crisis housing is growing faster than supply. Growth in maintenance costs for the existing housing stock is also constricting available Commonwealth and state investment for new houses. The past decade has seen a 37 per cent increase in unmet priority social housing demand and a 70 per cent increase in homelessness across NSW.

Those figures are quite disturbing and they relate not only to social housing but also to Indigenous housing. Clearly there is an issue with the provision of social housing, and with that pressure we also have the potential for an increase in homelessness. Non-government agencies in Wagga Wagga and Tumut report real difficulties in finding emergency accommodation and there is real pressure to find homes for homeless people. I was told by Department of Communities and Justice representatives in my electorate that older women who have recently divorced or separated have become a very significant demographic for homelessness services. That worrying trend has emerged over the past few years and relates in part to the lack of available housing.

A performance audit of theNSW Homelessness Strategy indicated that Together Home will not meet demand as a standalone response and that additional funding is required. There is a need for more housing, and the Government has recognised that. I acknowledge and appreciate the presence in the Chamber of the housing Minister and the communities and justice Minister. But the fact is that the need and the pressure is now greater than ever. More investment will be needed not only to catch up with the problem but also to tackle it. I make two further comments before I finish. In terms of investment, we must look to new models and innovation. The housing Minister mentioned the work of Argyle Housing in Cootamundra. They have also done great work in my electorate by providing a new model of wraparound health and support services for homeless people.

I also acknowledge the announcement of the Tolland Renewal Project, which plans to revitalise a major housing precinct in my electorate. Not only will it replace houses, but also it will rebuild houses with a mix of affordable and private accommodation in a new precinct with wraparound services that are tailored to the people who live there. Finally, there must be a better relationship between the NSW Land and Housing Corporation and the Department of Communities and Justice. There is a disjunction between the people who manage the properties and the people who manage the tenants. That issue has come up on countless occasions in my electorate. I ask the housing Minister and the communities and justice Minister to work together better to tackle this problem.

Mr ALISTER HENSKENS (Ku-ring-gaiMinister for Families, Communities and Disability Services) (17:17): I thank the member for Lake Macquarie for moving this motion, which deals with one of the very important issues of the moment. The member knows of my family's strong connection to his electorate. My mother grew up in his electorate and my grandfather built his GP medical practice there over about 40 years. The story that he told about Melissa was a heartbreaking and very salient example of the problem at hand. I also thank the member for Wagga Wagga for his contribution. I have spoken before in this place about the current decentralisation that we are experiencing, such as flexible working arrangements, which was driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. That is both a challenge and an opportunity for our regions, which for many years have had difficulties getting people into the area and helping them thrive. But now it is happening at a pace that is creating its own problems. It is an important shift both for our cities, in terms of making them more livable, but also for our regions, in terms of making them stronger.

But it is vital that this growth does not leave people behind and that communities can still flourish in our regions. The New South Wales Government has a 20-year vision for better housing outcomes across metropolitan and regional areas to 2041. The strategy looks across the housing spectrum from crisis accommodation to social and affordable housing to private rental and home ownership. I recognise the contribution of the Minister for Water, Property and Housing to the debate and her work in delivering the Housing 2041 strategy. It is important to recognise a bit of background. The New South Wales Government has a strong record of investment in social housing and homelessness services to break the cycle of disadvantage. The 2020-21 budget committed $1 billion to housing and homelessness programs through the Department of Communities and Justice. That included $291.8 million for homelessness services and programs—double what it was in 2013-14.

We have also increased the number of women's refuges across New South Wales from 76 in 2014 to 86 today and scaled up programs like Staying Home Leaving Violence and Start Safely, which provide safe and stable homes for women and families escaping domestic violence. We also established Link2home so that anyone facing homelessness across the State could call 1800 152 152 at any time of the day or night to be connected to accommodation and support. New South Wales has the largest supply of social housing in the country. It is continuing to grow in partnership with our community housing providers through programs such as the $1.1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund and the Community Housing Innovation Fund. Those funds delivered the 94 units in Cardiff that the member for Lake Macquarie referred to. The New South Wales Government is fostering a strong and diverse community housing sector, which now manages more than 50,000 properties across the State.

On Monday, as Minister Pavey said, we went to Redfern, where we saw one of the largest social and affordable housing projects—162 new units delivered by SGCH through the Social and Affordable Housing Fund. We met some of the people who have benefitted from these programs. The fund gave Tavita, who had to move out of Redfern into western Sydney, the opportunity to return home. Through the Social and Affordable Housing Fund this year we expect many new tenants in regional areas. Tenants will move into new homes in Cowra, Parkes, Dubbo, Teralba, Mount Druitt, Minto, Gosford, Cardiff and Gerringong, and there are more projects in the pipeline. In fact, New South Wales has one of the strongest pipelines ever with respect to delivering more housing. I note that the first round of the Community Housing Innovation Fund has had a strong focus on regional projects. I expect to announce the outcomes of the first round of funding in the coming weeks. In closing, the Government has a strong record on housing and homelessness, but there is obviously more to do and we will continue to do it.

Ms JENNY LEONG (Newtown) (17:22): I support the motion moved by the member for Lake Macquarie. I offer The Greens' support for the call for the Government to take immediate steps to improve housing affordability in New South Wales and urgently increase investment in social housing in regional areas. It is very important for us to realise and recognise that not enough is being done at the moment to address this crisis. It is not that the small programs being delivered are not working. In many cases during COVID, we saw that when we had the resources, the ability for agencies to work together and the urgency to solve the problem, we could actually solve it. But we know that every time the Government announces an initiative—often at the instigation of someone in the sector who says they have a solution to the problem—we have a scenario where it will take that and roll it out as one small test case, one example of 17 properties here or 50 new properties there, or one example of one initiative in one location or another.

We do not see a response that addresses the mass scale. I note that the new Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services is in the Chamber. I offered my congratulations to him earlier today on his new role. It is important to highlight a couple of things—and it was touched on briefly by the member for Wagga Wagga. The reality is that the housing Minister does not have full control over the housing crisis issues that New South Wales faces. The families and community services Minister has a very challenging task. I just checked the inner city area we are talking about. There are 792 applications currently on the waiting list. An additional 335 are priority applications on that waiting list. Then applicants can expect to be on that waiting list for between five to 10 years.

I can tell the Minister now that, in many of those cases, those priority applications on the waiting list are actually people who are already in some kind of other problematic housing situation. Or they have been living in a completely dysfunctional place run by public housing that is badly maintained, looked after and repaired. The Minister deals with the challenge of having to move people out and deal with unsatisfied tenants on a daily basis because the housing Minister, who heads up the Land and Housing Corporation, has failed to look after the public housing stock. But it does not sit with her. The housing Minister in fact is not given the funding and the investment by the Treasurer to maintain our public housing stock in the first place. We have a basket case situation where the only way that the Land and Housing Corporation can fund the maintenance of existing public housing stock is to sell that stock on the private market. Imagine if we said to the people of Erskineville and Lidcombe, "We cannot afford to upgrade your train station at Lidcombe, so we are going to sell off the station at Erskineville to upgrade it." That is exactly how we are allegedly funding the public housing stock in this State.

I also raise two things. The families and community services Minister pointed out the Link2home program, which is an absolutely crucial initiative trying to drive people from homelessness and get them into temporary accommodation. The sad reality is though that the amount of access people have to temporary accommodation is limited. It is limited by a certain number of days. It is two days at a time. I do not know when was the last time anyone tried to find a rental property within two days, but it is not possible. Every two days one has to go through the process again—and we are talking about some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Once those people use up their temporary accommodation—because it is nowhere near the five-year waiting period that has been on the department's website for how long—they go back to that vulnerable situation on the street. Then we pay people to do homelessness assertive outreach to go out there and put them back into temporary accommodation. Then they find themselves back on the waiting list. They finally get into a public housing property. It has mould all over it so they put in an application for priority transfer because it is destroying their health. There is a broken system. The final thing I will say is that the suburb of Redfern is in the electorate of Newtown. I look forward to joining Ministers the next time they open social housing in my electorate.

Ms JODIE HARRISON (Charlestown) (17:28): I congratulate the member for Lake Macquarie on moving this motion. My electorate of Charlestown adjoins Lake Macquarie. I am sure the member hears the same kinds of stories that my office hears. His staff would hear the same kinds of stories I am sure every person who has spoken on this side also hears. We have the same kind of experience with housing affordability, the rental crisis and a lack of supply of social housing. Firstly, it was remiss of me when I spoke earlier today on the children's guardian bill not to congratulate the new Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, the member for Ku-ring-gai. I congratulate him on his new role and look forward to working with him to deal with issues of families, communities and homelessness in my electorate.

This housing crisis is being experienced on three fronts. The first is home ownership. In the past 10 years, the decade that this Government has been in power, home ownership rates have continued to decrease because people just cannot afford to get into the property market. In the Charlestown electorate the median house price rose from $443,051 in May 2011 to $730,758 in May 2021. That is an increase of 60 per cent in just one decade. Increasing house prices might sound like a good thing if one owns own property or is an investor, but more and more people are giving up on ever owning their own home—more young people and more people who have had changes in family circumstances. They are giving up on the security and stability that home ownership brings and are resigning themselves to being forever renters.

That brings me to the second part of the housing crisis, and that is rental property availability and affordability. In some parts of my electorate rents have increased by as much as 30 per cent in just 12 months, and this surge in rents is being driven by the lowest sustained rental vacancy rate in decades. The current rental vacancy rate in the Charlestown electorate is the incredibly low and difficult 0.4 per cent. People in full employment with great rental references are lining up with dozens of others.

Mr Ryan Park: Can't find it.

Ms JODIE HARRISON: Absolutely, they cannot find a rental property. If they can, they have to line up with hundreds of other people, apply and eventually find out that their application is unsuccessful. In February I spoke in this place about a constituent of mine—whom I will call Mary—who is 79 years old and who received a no-cause eviction. She was unable to secure another rental property for her and her 52-year-old disabled son. She is still unable to find a rental property. Last Wednesday her story was featured on the front page of theNewcastle Herald. Next month she turns 80 and she is still looking for somewhere to rent. Sadly, she is not the only older woman who has reached out to my office seeking assistance following a no-cause eviction. In fact, women over 50 are the fastest-growing cohort of people facing homelessness. That is backed up by local specialist homelessness services such Nova for Women and Children in my electorate.

When someone cannot afford to buy a home and cannot find one to rent, they only have one option left and that is social housing. Social housing is the third front on which this housing crisis is being fought. In the 10 years that this Government has been in power, it has sold off $2.1 billion worth of social housing while reinvesting far less. I know this because those figures were provided by Ministers to my questions on notice. Clearly about half a billion dollars less has been spent over that time. The Government's current asset recycling approach to fund social housing is not sustainable and is resulting in far fewer social housing beds for people who desperately need them. The wait for social housing in my area is longer than 10 years.

When someone cannot afford to buy, cannot afford to rent and cannot afford to wait 10 years for social housing, it is highly likely that they will be facing homelessness. Just last Friday afternoon three people, all unknown to each other and all facing homelessness, arrived in my office. One was couch surfing, one had been homeless for seven years and arrived at the office with her luggage, and the third was desperately trying to extend her temporary housing accommodation budget allowance so that she would not be thrown out of the hotel room she had been living in. There truly is a housing crisis in New South Wales, particularly in regional areas. It is terrifying to see and absolutely emotionally exhausting to deal with. The problem has been years in the making and the Government needs to fix it. I support the motion.

Mr RYAN PARK (Keira) (17:33): I recognise the member for Lake Macquarie for moving this important motion. The Public Accounts Committee under his stewardship is looking at some parts of this issue at the moment, particularly contracts around maintenance. There is an opportunity throughout the remainder of this Parliament to deliver what I think would be a really bipartisan strategy and policy around investing in public housing on a scale we have not seen before. Federal Labor has outlined a positive plan to do this. I think there is a spirit of willingness on this side of the Chamber to work with the Government to deliver landmark investment in public housing. I have been in the Homelessness portfolio for a long time now—several years. Every single report, every single study I have examined and every single piece of research, whether from here or overseas, says one thing loud and clear: It centres around the provision of safe, affordable and accessible housing.

This is not only critical to addressing the homelessness issue—which is very important; I am not playing it down—but also an opportunity, as we come out of COVID and deal with the economic consequences of the past 18 months, to stimulate every single micro economy in New South Wales through investment in public housing. It is smart for jobs; it is smart for local economies. The return on investment is strong. I have spoken to the former Minister for Family and Community Services, and we know that putting people in temporary accommodation—all of us congratulated the Government on its response during COVID to ensure that people were protected, and I congratulated the Minister personally a number of times—is very much a temporary solution. It is very expensive and wraparound services are not delivered easily.

The member for Newtown and I visited a woman in my electorate who is in a shocking situation. She was struggling with family challenges and living in what I consider to be an unsafe house. Unfortunately, this is replicated right across our communities. I say to the Government today that there is an opportunity for Labor, the crossbench and the Government to put down the political sticks for a moment, to actually agree that we are at a crisis point and to bring together this Parliament and the best minds around policy development in this space. Investment in public housing goes a long way towards addressing homelessness—it does not eliminate it, but it goes a long way. All the research, particularly from overseas, says that when you get people into stable housing you can begin to provide those wraparound services and start to change their life. They can then contribute to societies—which everyone wants, including them.

As we emerge post-COVID—and we still have not dealt with all the economic outcomes that this terrible pandemic has caused—there is an opportunity to drive that investment going forward. It is not about selling off two three-bedroom homes and replacing them with two or three one-bedroom homes. We have to be fair dinkum; that does not make sense. That does not result in more housing for people. But those debates are important. I thank the member for Lake Macquarie. I know that he is genuine about this issue, and I say to the Government that we all are. If we are honest, we will agree that this issue affects every single one of the communities we represent in this place. There is an opportunity for this Parliament to rally around and work together to put forward really strong policy investment in this area.

Mr DAVID MEHAN: I seek leave to make a contribution.

Leave not granted.

Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie) (17:38): In reply: I thank the Minister for Water, Property and Housing and the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services for their contributions and for being here to participate in the debate in this important area of their portfolio responsibilities. I particularly acknowledge my colleagues on the crossbench, the member for Wagga Wagga and the member for Newtown, but also the member for Charlestown and the member for Keira. I think we all understand that there is a crisis out there. Very real problems have manifested and been thrown into sharp relief in this COVID period.

The member for Charlestown and I share similar communities. Our demographics cross over and we have similar work areas and recreational areas. We are one and the same, split by an artificial electoral boundary. But even though Newtown is different and Sydney is different, every member would have similar experiences to us. I talked to the member for Sydney about his work. I talked to Clover Moore about what the City of Sydney is doing. The experiences are slightly different, but do you know what is not different? We all see people in our electorate offices—young mothers and young families—who are really doing it tough. They do not have much income, they have kids and they do not see where their children will be sleeping tonight, tomorrow night or next week. There is that immediate fear, but they are almost embarrassed sometimes. I feel so much for them because they feel ashamed that they cannot provide for their children in the way they think they should.

The answer is that we need to come together. I think we have been hearing some of that said here. There will be differences around policy but we can come together. Both Ministers spoke about how the 20-year strategy is coming into place, but we have to bring along other players in that space. Faith-based organisations, charities and local government will come together to work. As the member for Keira said, bring the Commonwealth along. It has so much money. It has the capacity. We have to stop tinkering around the edges; we have to change the paradigm. Let us do a major reset. The only way we can really do that is if we all come together. It is a big job, and I wish the two Ministers all the best because they are working for our communities and their communities. I thank them very much for being here, and I thank everybody for participating in this important debate.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question is that the motion be agreed to.

Motion agreed to.

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