Legislative Council: Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Rental Affordability

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (14:47): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question without notice to the minister representing the Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs on the topic of housing affordability.

Leave granted.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: According to the international think tank Demographia, Adelaide's housing market is now less affordable than New York, and Adelaide is the 14th least affordable city in the world when it comes to housing. Last week, SACOSS released their latest Cost of Living report, which showed that the average price of rentals in metropolitan Adelaide has increased well beyond the general inflation rate, with the average price increases at $50 per week over the last year for two-bedroom units and $60 per week for three-bedroom houses.

With rents skyrocketing in Queensland, Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that limits on rent increases could be on the agenda for her government to support households living under rental stress, yet here in South Australia, when announcing plans to partially ban rent bidding, Premier Malinauskas told InDaily that, and I quote: 'A landlord is welcome to set rent as high as they believe they can reasonably get.'

My question to the minister therefore is: given the soaring cost of rent and the increasing number of South Australians sleeping on our streets, is it fair for landlords to charge whatever they can reasonably get, and why won't the government join Queensland in considering rent capping to get prices under control?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:48): I thank the honourable member for his question and his often passionate advocacy in relation to issues to do with rent affordability in South Australia. I will refer his important questions to the minister in another place and bring back a reply for him.