19 March 2024

Mr MARK SPEAKMAN (Cronulla) (12:06): My question is directed to the Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading. The Minister has said he is committed to taking steps to "ease pressure on the rental market". Last financial year New South Wales had a net population gain from immigration of 174,000 people, placing additional pressure on rental demand. What conversations has the Minister had with Federal Ministers about reducing short-term demand in the rental market stemming from record high migration numbers?

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG (Macquarie Fields—Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading, Minister for Industry and Trade, Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, Minister for Building, and Minister for Corrections) (12:07): I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his interest in the rental market and rental reform. For 12 years there was not much when it came to rental help and reform. There is a rental crisis at the moment, due mainly to undersupply in the market that has been building up for 12 years. You cannot have rental affordability and accessibility if you do not have rental availability. It is important to do all we can to increase supply. This is the headline of members opposite. This is their record when it comes to rental reform. Denying people the opportunity—

Mr Alister Henskens: Point of order—

The SPEAKER: The Minister will resume his seat. The Manager of Opposition Business rises on a point of order.

Mr Alister Henskens: We know it is government by headlines, but members cannot use props in the Chamber.

The SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. The Minister will resume his answer without the assistance of props.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: Rental is a hot issue at the moment. One in three people in New South Wales rent. In certain places, it is probably closer to one in two. It is important that we continue the supply agenda to reduce pressure on housing. That is why the planning Minister is doing all that he can. Of course, he is being blocked by members of the Opposition, whose only answer to help renters is no, no and no.

Mr Mark Speakman: Point of order: My point of order relates to Standing Order 129, direct relevance. It was a narrow question about what conversations the Minister has had with Federal colleagues.

The SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. The Minister will be directly relevant to the question, which was about what conversations he has had. The member for North Shore will come to order.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: Of course, last year, as members would be well aware, the Government appointed the Rental Commissioner, a strong advocate for those in the rental market, whose job is to come up with ideas and policy in a form that implements the Government's reform agenda when it comes to renting. We on this side take the rental space seriously. We are working on the supply side. We are working on the rental reforms.

Mr Mark Speakman: Point of order: My point of order relates to Standing Order 129, direct relevance. Mr Speaker, the Minister is flouting your ruling.

The SPEAKER: The Minister is sailing close to flouting my ruling. He will continue his answer.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: We have the conversations all the time. It is important that we continue to look at all angles when it comes to reducing the pressure on rental. In relation to supply and rental reform, we on this side have an agenda; those opposite did not for 12 years.