While I acknowledge there are challenges with the public housing waiting list in the north of the state, especially in the northwest, the special circumstances of this region need to be recognised.
The figure is partly due to a tighter rental market in this region, and the effect of flooding over recent years, which includes the loss of low-cost rental in the form of caravan parks and second houses on farms.
The Victorian Coalition government has inherited a public housing system that is in crisis – a fact that has been documented by the Victorian Auditor-General. The Auditor-General has acknowledged that the system was neglected for more than a decade under the former Labor government, and was characterised by poor asset management including a growing maintenance backlog.
Despite challenges in the north of the state, the statewide public housing waiting list has fallen from 41,212 under Labor to 37,130 in the December 2012 quarter. That’s 4082 applicants who languished on a waiting list under Labor, but have been housed under the Coalition government.
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards would serve her electorate better if she was straight with her constituents. She should be ashamed of the legacy of Labor, which has left public housing in this state in crisis – a fact confirmed in a report by the Victorian Auditor-General last year.
While we are working hard to address this crisis, it takes time to rectify more than a decade of neglect.
Minister for Housing