Don’t cry for renters, Lucy Turnbull


In July 2019, then head of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), Lucy Turnbull, outlined an “exciting” future for Western Sydney, which involved being crush-loaded with another 1.2 million people:

GSC’s chief commissioner Lucy Turnbull… said places such as Parramatta and Bankstown represented the “future of Sydney and Australia” with a youthful and diverse population making them “exciting” corners of the wider city…. “1.2 million people in western Sydney in the next 20 years is a reasonable forecast”…

The GSC under Lucy Turnbull was a strong supporter of Sydney’s immigration-driven population flood, which is projected to transform the city into high-rises.

Sydney dwelling composition

Hilariously, now that she has left the GSC and her husband is no longer Prime Minister, Lucy Turnbull has feigned concern about the plight of renters from her Point Piper mansion, warning that higher interest rates would suppress construction and housing supply:

Lucy Turnbull Tweet

While Lucy Turnbull is technically correct that higher interest rates would further stymie housing supply, why hasn’t she addressed the direct cause of Australia’s current rental crisis: the importation of just under one million net overseas migrants in only two calendar years?

Historical NOM

This explosion of net overseas migration since the mid-2000s is the primary reason why Australia has a housing shortage, which AMP has estimated is running above 200,000 homes.

Home construction vs population growth

So long as Australia continues to import renters at a faster pace than housing and infrastructure can be built, Australia’s rental crisis will worsen.

Accumulated housing shortage

Sadly, don’t ever expect to see a globalist like Lucy Turnbull advocate for the obvious solution of slashing immigration.

Her husband, Malcolm Turnbull, was a Big Australia shill as Prime Minister, as was she as head of the GSC.


Australian renters are merely reaping what the Turnbull’s have sowed.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.