Danny O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (09:42): I rise today to highlight the policy and economic incompetence of this government and in particular how it is hurting Victorians looking for a roof over their head. There is no doubt property price rises post pandemic have led to a shortage of housing, with rent also increasing as interest rates and other costs for landlords go up. Massive waiting lists for public housing are a symptom at the most disadvantaged end of the market. This is particularly the issue in Gippsland South and the wider Gippsland region, where many people are coming to me in housing distress and workers and employers are despairing because they cannot find places for staff to live. There are many reasons for such a crisis in a dynamic economic environment, but there is no doubt that Victorian government policy has played a massive part. In particular, of the 47 new or increased taxes introduced by this government, nearly half of them have been taxes on property. That the government now thinks it is a good idea to whack another land tax levy on Victorians with a second property just defies economic belief. The Real Estate Institute of Victoria says that 70 per cent of landlords have just one extra property. They are not wealthy people in the main and most will be forced to pass on these additional costs to their tenants. Yesterday the Treasurer in question time said he would give us a lesson on economics 101 about supply and demand. He said ‘it is a landlords market’. Well, if the Treasurer had actually done economics 101, he would know that if a government taxes a good in high demand, that tax will simply be passed onto the market. That means an increase in rent is coming, because this government has lost control of the finances. Under Labor Victoria is broke.

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