On Thursday 6 February 2020, Michael asked the Minister for Housing and Public Works about the deaths of Queenslanders on the social housing wait list.
Mr BERKMAN: My question today is for the Minister for Housing and Public Works. Last year the social housing waiting list blew out by 7,000 people to almost 40,000 while this year the government will deliver fewer than 600 new homes for social housing. Is the minister aware of how many people have died while waiting for social housing since 2017?
Mr de BRENNI: I thank the member for the question. Of course, we fully recognise and take very seriously our responsibility to Queenslanders, particularly those most vulnerable who do not have a safe, secure and affordable place to call home. There are significant pressures on many Queenslanders when it comes to finding a home to own or a home to rent. The freezing of Newstart has created significant pressure on some of the most vulnerable. The cost of living at the national level and the cost of housing, of course, is putting demands on many families.
We are extremely proud of our $1.8 billion Queensland Housing Strategy, our 10-year plan to ensure that we assist Queenslanders to find safe, secure and affordable housing. That plan consists of the construction of 5,500 new homes over 10 years. Just last year alone, 250,000 cases of private market assistance were provided to Queenslanders. They include services like rental grants, bond loans and our RentConnect service to assist people into the private sector.
We believe in the responsibility of delivering social housing and are investing heavily in that. The member for Maiwar is right: we will build over 600 new homes this year. Some 2,500 new homes have been built since we took office. We did stop the giveaway of $15 billion of social housing assets that the LNP had planned. We do not believe that the only answer is providing every Queenslander with a house. In fact, we know that the Greens policy is estimated to cost taxpayers around $50 billion. Under the Greens housing policy, the member for Maiwar would be entitled to a taxpayer funded house. Under the Greens policy, every member in this room would be entitled to a taxpayer funded house. It is houses for everybody under the Greens policy. We take a responsible approach.
There are significant pressures on households right across the country. We have seen the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government preside over the lowest wages growth in living memory. They are the causes of more and more Queenslanders requiring housing assistance. We are very proud that such Queenslanders come to us and seek support, because they know that they will be treated with dignity. No Queenslander wanted to go to the LNP when in need of housing assistance. Queenslanders will not forget that it was the member for Everton who poor-shamed social housing tenants for his own political agenda. We will continue to treat them with dignity, continue to build more houses and continue to take full responsibility for supporting Queenslanders into secure accommodation.