Today Abigail supported a Greens motion calling on the Government to put a stop to inhumane rental evictions in coastal communities, the livelihoods of whom are being thrown into chaos by the housing crisis.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (21:30): I contribute to this very important debate to support the motion put forward by my colleague Mr David Shoebridge. I sometimes stand in this place and wonder what people think government is for. A lot of people in this place seem to think that we should just leave the market to do its thing, regardless of the consequences. Housing is one of those issues that you cannot leave to the markets. Left to its own devices, we end up with a market that results in profit‑seekers driving people out of their homes. We have lived in my local area on the Central Coast for 10 or 11 years. Over that time we have seen this increasing buy‑up in our community of holiday rentals, peoples' homes that they might visit once a year, which are left empty for months and months. Then, right at the end and just in the summer season, we get this influx of luxury renters for two months. For those who are lucky enough to find a place to rent and to live in those homes, they get chucked out in October and November just when it is expensive to get another place.
I listened to the Hon. Rose Jackson talking about throwing the market into chaos. But we are throwing people's lives into chaos. These people are embedded in their communities. Doctors at my local surgery have had to move away because they were priced out of the market. These people who thought they were on pretty good salaries are getting priced out by people who own 10, 20, 30 or 100 properties around New South Wales and who are just holding onto them as commodities. We have lost sight of the idea of housing being about home. It is about home first and foremost. If everyone has a home, people can go ahead and have their multiple holiday places and rent them out. But everyone has to have a home first. The result of not putting a ban on evictions in places like the North Coast is people will end up homeless. Again, in my office we see a lot of people who are fleeing domestic violence who have managed to find and rent a place and who get chucked out just before Christmas because their lives are not profitable. I support my colleague bringing this important issue to the House. The other parties are not there yet. But we need to look at housing as a home first and foremost.
For the full debate, see Hansard here.