Posted on 13. May, 2011 in News

Shadow Minister for Housing Richard Wynne has called on the Baillieu Government to release the 2011-12 Housing Budget so that all Victorians can see the consequences of the Liberals’ cuts to housing.

“The shocking lack of investment for housing in the State Budget makes it critical that Minister Wendy Lovell releases the 2011-12 Housing Budget, which the Minister and Treasurer must approve under section 27 of the Housing Act,” Mr Wynne said.

“Now that the Treasurer has approved the Director of Housing’s budget, Minister Lovell must release Office of Housing’s operating and capital works budgets for 2011-12.”

Mr Wynne said Mr Baillieu was elected “to fix the problems and build the future”, and yet his budget contained no plan, no vision and no new investment in housing for vulnerable people.

“The dramatic collapse in total appropriations for social housing in the Budget Papers – down from $947.7 million in 2009-10 to just $168.8 million in 2011-12 – makes it more important than ever that we conduct an informed public debate about the future housing for low-income families in Victoria,” Mr Wynne said.

“The Baillieu Government’s failure to invest any new state funds in building homes for people on low-incomes means the Office of Housing may have to cut critical programs like Neighbourhood Renewal and the public housing upgrade program just to keep the current system afloat.”

Mr Wynne said it is increasingly clear Ms Lovell has neither the support of her colleagues or the answers to the issues facing the social housing system.

“Ms Lovell’s own media release spruiks redevelopments at Richmond, Fitzroy, Prahran, Carlton and Westmeadows – all Labor initiatives,” he said.

“Just this week Minister Lovell was caught out attempting to avoid scrutiny by sneaking out the 2009-10 Summary of Housing Assistance months after the Summary was ready for release.

“Indeed, the document Minister Lovell quietly placed on the Office of Housing’s website today was last edited on May 5 – evidence the Minister has sat on the report to avoid scrutiny over her failure to secure new funding to house Victorians on low-incomes.

“Minister Lovell’s hypocrisy is startling giving she herself was on the record calling for the Summary to be released by October 2010.

“It’s no surprise that Ms Lovell is sheepish about the latest edition of the Summary – it shows that in 2008-09 Labor acquired more than 3,200 new social housing properties.”

“In contrast, the Baillieu Government will acquire 1,600 new social housing properties in 2011-12 – most of which will be funded through Labor initiatives such as the Nation Building program and the $500 million committed to Housing in the 2007-08 Budget,” Mr Wynne said.

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