I just want to say a few words about housing. I know there are some minor parties in this House that are out in their electorates actually campaigning to stop new housing development during this nation's housing crisis. They flew down to Canberra and voted with Peter Dutton and Pauline Hanson to stop the new housing fund. They're hypocrites who say they want to help renters and say they want social housing built, but all they do is vote 'no' to housing, particularly in the Senate. In the Senate last week, these strange bedfellows formed a new 'no-alition' and voted to shut down debate. If they were serious about doing something on housing and really wanted more housing, they would work with the Albanese government to pass legislation when the Senate next sits. Right now, the Senate can deliver 30,000 social and affordable homes. It can do that right now. This would include housing for women and children fleeing violence. That would be in the first five years of the Housing Australia Future Fund.
I have heard some pretty silly claims about what the Housing Australia Future Fund is—for example, that it is a 'gamble on the stock market'. That is a great one-liner, but it is a one-liner packed with falsehoods, because the Future Fund is an experienced fund manager, managing over $250 billion for the Australian government. The Future Fund invests in a range of assets in a diversified portfolio, just like the superannuation fund that supports retirement for working Australians, including politicians who fly down to Canberra to vote against public housing. Existing future funds provide consistent and allowable annual disbursements irrespective of returns. As Brendan Coates from Grattan Institute has said:
… other future funds have continued to disburse moneys even when the fund hasn't given a return in a year.
The whole point of establishing the Housing Australia Future Fund in legislation is to make sure that we provide a long-term, ongoing source of funding for social and affordable housing that isn't subject to the whims or prejudices of a future government. That, my friends, is called security and surety. What we really don't need is yet another short-term fix that has the potential to leave vulnerable people out in the cold once again. The Labor fund will be the end of the housing one-offs from the Australian government. It will be the end of Australian government housing programs that make problems worse instead of better. The Housing Australia Future Fund will be the start of an enduring promise from the Australian government that more Australians should have a safe and affordable place to call home. I want to remind those people who are misleading the country in their very loud mansplaining voices that future funds are used across government to provide secure, long-term funding for important policy objectives like the NDIS, medical research and disaster preparedness, to name just three.
In my electorate of Moreton, the community groups that provide support and housing to vulnerable people have a clear message to these politicians who are using the housing crisis to draw attention to themselves. Their message is very simple: pass the bill. You know what else they dislike? The posturing about rent freezes. That's because they know that rent freezes have not worked overseas and they won't work here.
The Housing Australia Future Fund is just one of the Albanese government's election commitments and it's not the only thing that we're doing. But, if you were listening to the Greens political party, you would think it is the only thing. It's not. But it is essential in creating an ongoing, secure source of funding for social and affordable rental homes.
Safe and affordable housing is central to the security and dignity of all Australians. A decade of little action by the former coalition government has left us with significant challenges right across the country. That's why our budget delivered new action to help Australia renters, expand opportunities for homeownership and bolstered frontline homelessness services. At every opportunity, the Albanese government has built on our housing reform, because we know that our nation's challenges are quite significant. The budget builds on the work that our Labor government is delivering so that Australians can have a safe and affordable place to call home.
I had a roundtable in my electorate with Minister Collins and a lot of the housing providers in my patch. I should declare that I used to be on the board of the Kyabra community organisation. It provides emergency shelter and also longer term accommodation. One of the workers from Kyabra that I knew from my time on the board said that never in her 35 years of working with vulnerable people has she seen housing in the crisis it is right now. So it's a simple message to the people who fly down here to vote 'no' to housing: get out of the way, vote 'yes', let these 30,000 homes go out and let the Housing Australia Future Fund come into being and start providing more housing.