JOURNALIST: National Cabinet next week, housing and renters rights are on the agenda. The Coalition is still refusing to budge on the Housing Australia Future Fund.
JANE HUME: Don't you find it amazing that this is on your agenda now? I mean, you've got wall to wall Labor premiers across mainland Australia. It shouldn't be all that hard for Anthony Albanese to pick up the phone to his mates and say hey, what are you doing about housing supply because we know that the only way to sustainably bring rental prices down is to increase housing supply. I was down in Ballan just a couple of weeks ago in Moorabool Shire in Victoria. And they were telling me that there's 18,000 new houses ready to go, just waiting on state government sign off from the Dan Andrews government down there. 18,000 houses, why has this not been done already? The only way we're going to sustainably bring down rents is to increase supply. That's going to take rezoning and unlocking of land from state Labor governments. If Anthony Albanese can't get his mates to do this without calling the National Cabinet, I don't know what he's been doing for the last few months. It’s not that this is a new problem.
JOURNALIST: Isn’t that just indicative of the fact that trying to get all the states and territories on the same page is like herding cats?
JANE HUME: What a historic opportunity when you have Labor premiers wall to wall across the mainland of Australia. Isn't it indicative of the respect that they have for Anthony Albanese, if they can't agree on opening up housing supply, which is a such a serious issue for all Australians right now, whether it be housing shortages, rental shortages, the price of housing, the only way to sustainably do this is to unlock supply. That's the responsibility of the states. Why is it that a year on, Anthony Albanese is doing this now? Why haven't the premiers responded to this earlier?
JOURNALIST: The Greens have put out costings saying a rental phrase if it had been in place, in the last financial year, would have saved renters $3 billion in total? Why shouldn't that be put in place? Wouldn't any Australian say that would have been a very good thing at a time when they were dealing with inflation?
JANE HUME: There's hardly a country around the world that's had a rental phrase in place that's actually worked to bring rents down and to increase housing affordability, whether rentals or whether it be owner occupiers. Increasing supply is really the only way to sustainably do that. Potentially putting in a rental freeze will turn away potential investors, reduce the supply of rental properties that would be disastrous.