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NSW election: Labor’s property promises

By Kyle Robbins
21 March 2023 | 11 minute read
chris minns reb uyovqi

Will the NSW Labor Party unseat the incumbent Liberals at the upcoming state election to take power for the first time since 2009? 

With the campaign trail drawings to a close and the state preparing to head to the polls this Saturday, 25 March, REB has taken a look at the property policies of each of the major parties. 

You can view Dominic Perrottet and the Liberal Party’s property policies here

Chris Minns, leader of the NSW Labor Party, is attempting to emulate his federal counterparts and secure an election victory to become NSW’s first Labor Premier since Kristina Keneally in 2009 

Housing has been a core component of the member for Kogarah’s campaign to date, with the NSW Opposition announcing its own plans for stamp duty reform in January, which would eliminate the tax for properties valued below $800,000, and a concession rate for those priced between $800,000 to $1 million while also removing the Perrottet government’s land tax. 

Mr Minns expressed his belief the party’s policy is “by far a better use of taxpayer money”, by encompassing over half of available housing stock and benefiting approximately 95 per cent of first-time buyers. 

In the estimation of the Opposition Leader, “tens of thousands of people are far better off under Labor’s proposal than a permanent land tax that will be levied against them for however long they own that property”. 

So far, no plans have been announced to extend the scheme beyond first home buyers.

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The party competing for power come election day has also proposed a $30 million pilot build-to-rent scheme on the state’s south coast targeting public land for development in areas rife with supply shortages, with 30 per cent of stock produced by the project made available for social and affordable housing.

In positive news for tenants, the NSW Labor Party promised to introduce legislation into State Parliament requiring landlords to respond to their request to house a pet within their rental property within 21 days, with the application automatically approved in the event the owner fails to respond.

In line with the Liberal government’s move, the Minns-led party has also declared it would end secret rent bidding, while also proposing the introduction of an NSW rental commissioner.

According to the party’s website, the commissioner will be an advocate and voice for renters by working closely with government, consumer affairs, stakeholders, and renters to:

  • Lead consultation and drafting of legislation to introduce reasons for eviction
  • Implement Labor’s portable bonds scheme (allowing renters to directly transfer bonds from one property to another, while ensuring owners still have access to fund they may need)
  • Oversee a ban on secret rent bidding
  • Identify barriers to increasing housing supply for renting
  • Identify practices and gaps that erode the rights of renters
  • Identify options for longer-term agreements, giving security and certainty to both renters and owners
  • Initiatives including educational resources for renters and owners to increase knowledge of their rights
  • Gather data on renting and survey renters to help inform future policy making
  • Identify ways for renters to more easily access energy efficiency initiatives

NSW Labor also floated the establishment of Homes NSW, an agency it described as “driving the delivery of more housing options and managing social housing in order to tackle the state’s housing crisis”.

Under the proposed move, “the Land and Housing Corporation, Aboriginal housing, and DCJ Housing will be merged into one social and affordable housing agency to streamline bureaucratic processes”. 

The Opposition believes that as a result of the agency’s establishment, the numerous tenants and their support systems will no longer bounce between different government departments and “fall through the cracks” — ending “the buck-passing and ensuring people are getting into homes”.

Additional housing-related promises by the Labor Party include:

  • Longer-term funding certainty for homelessness and housing support organisations and tenancy advocacy services dealing with the fall-out from the housing crisis
  • Seeing all planning decisions will be made by the Minister for Planning
  • No new developments on dangerous floodplains

To read about the NSW Liberal Party policies, click here. 

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