Greens leader, Adam Bandt, has launched a “Green New Deal” which promises to build 500,000 affordable social houses:
[ADAM] Right now across Australia people are feeling the pressure. People are feeling anxious because the basics of life, like housing are no longer guaranteed.
[MEHREEN] We are in the middle of a climate emergency and a long running inequality crisis.
[ADAM] We’ve got hundreds of thousands of people on the waiting list for public housing right across this country.
[MEHREEN] We know the number of people experiencing homelessness is growing. More and more people are in housing and rental stress.
[ADAM] and we’ve got young people unable to find meaningful work.
[MEHREEN] The situation is getting worse.
[ADAM] There’s a recession looming on the horizon, so we’ve got to stimulate the economy to invest where it matters. To make sure that everyone gets a roof over their head and that we create new jobs,
especially for young people, as we tackle the inequality crisis and tackle the economic crisis.
[MEHREEN] We need a Green New Deal.
[ADAM] The best way to do that is through a construction-lead recovery to build half a million new homes across Australia so that everyone can have a roof over their head.
[MEHREEN] The Greens will build 500,000 publicly owned homes in cities, towns, and regional areas over the next 15 years.
[ADAM] Not only are we going to tackle the housing crisis, not only are we going to tackle homelessness, but we’re going to create 44,000 jobs including 4,000 apprenticeships for young people to get their start in life, get a Trade and set themselves up for the future.
Homelessness in Australia is a disgrace and the government does need to invest more in public housing. However, the Greens also need to be honest and acknowledge that building 500,000 new homes is bad news for the environment.
Remember, around one quarter of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the construction, operation and maintenance of buildings. Therefore, the Greens policy would necessarily drive up Australia’s emissions, while also chewing-up green space.
One wonders why Greens have ignored the key driver of housing inequality and homelessness, as well as the destruction of the natural environment: Australia’s mass immigration policy.
Stabilising Australia’s population below 30 million people would do far more to alleviate homelessness than letting Australia’s population balloon to a projected 43 million by 2066.
With the Greens’ open-borders policy, half a million new homes will barely touch the sides.