16 Sep KATTER LAUNCHES BOLD HOUSING FIX TO RELIEVE SEQ BLOAT
Transfer duty fees on properties purchased in rural and regional communities of fewer than 25,000 people would be halved under a policy that’s part of a “Population De-centralisation Plan” being pushed by Katter’s Australian Party MPs.
KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter will today write to the Queensland Premier, Treasurer and Housing Minister calling on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to formally consider the proposal during their official Housing Summit.
The policy is designed to help turn the tide on population drift to major metropolitan areas at the expense of the regions, and to provide reprieve to the bulging south-east corner where housing, transport and services are buckling under unsustainable growth.
A recent Property Council of Australia’s report showed that Queensland’s population grew by a massive 750,000 between 2011 and 2021, with close to 90 per cent relocating to the south-east.
Mr Katter said the situation was farcical, and the Premier needed to show leadership.
“This is an opportunity for the Premier to show she governs for the entire State by enacting bold policies to turn this centralisation trend around,” he said.
“This level of growth in one small geographic section is not good for anyone, it’s not good for the residents of Brisbane or the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and its certainly not good for us in the regions where we have houses sitting empty and jobs going begging.
“Acting to address these discrepancies is simply common sense.”
Mr Katter said he had formally proposed that, for a period of two years, owner-occupier house and land property purchases in Queensland towns situated in “Outer Regional” locations with a population of less than 25,000 would only attract half the normal transfer duty fees.
“I can guarantee you the key to a significant portion of our housing issues is to address the centralisation problem,” he said.
“In places like Mount Isa, Ayr and Mareeba, there are hundreds of houses sitting on the market that are highly-affordable; around the $300,000 mark would get you a very comfortable home,” he said.
“There are also jobs on offer in these towns in almost every sector, so a move to regions would tick the boxes for a lot of people in terms of work, housing and lifestyle.”
Mr Katter said while his policy proposal was targeted at reprieve for home-buyers, the policy could also reduce pressure on renters by driving people out of highly-congested areas.
He said the Palaszczuk Labor Government was sorely mistaken if it thought a talk-fest in the form of a Housing Summit would be enough to solve the State’s housing issues.
“I am not confident in the platitudes put forward from the Premier – even if she is serious about her 2032 target, is this about finding everyone a home in Queensland, or funding everyone a home in the south-east corner?” he said.
“You don’t need to have a Housing Summit to act on a lot of the solutions that are already in front of you.
“The primary one is to remember there are parts of Queensland that exist beyond the south-east corner and the major cities that are along the coast.
“The major problem in Queensland at the moment is the chronic centralisation of the population, housing and services in one location – the greater Brisbane and Gold and Sunshine Coast areas
“Victoria and New South Wales has made that mistake and now people from their capitals are flocking North, bringing the dilemma here.
“If the Premier wants to approach this issue with any degree of intelligence, she and her Government would embark on a very aggressive de-centralisation effort to try and get people out of the city to stop the congestion and avoid diseconomies of scale in infrastructure.”
In 2021-22 the Queensland Government estimates it collected an incredible $6 billion in transfer duty income, with the majority drawn from purchases made in the south-east corner, up from $3.9 billion the year before.