ELECTION ISSUE: Kyogle Council candidates talk about housing and the shortage of rentals

Susanna Freymark

House prices have climbed and rentals are hard to come by in the Kyogle area.
The housing issue is being felt nationwide and State and Federal Governments need to act to do something about the problem.
Can our local council do anything about the situation?
We asked the Kyogle Council candidates and we thank the seven people who responded. This is not an easy issue to deal with and to find a solution all tiers of government need to be involved.
We asked:
What can council do to alleviate the shortage of rentals in Kyogle LGA?
Rob Cullen: Affordable housing for the large number of low income families that live in the Kyogle Shire is now a major issue. Rental and property price rises are forcing young and low income people out of the area. Council needs to allow inexpensive housing, micro homes to be placed on farms and large blocks and convert old buildings such as dairies into homes.
Tom Cooper: Lobby the State Government to eliminate the stamp duty on insurance policies for residential and rental properties, as well as push the Federal Government to drop GST on these policies. Up to 20% of the cost of household insurance is government charges which has to be recovered by landlords and pushes the cost of rentals higher.
Simon Dejoux: Housing is a desperate issue across the whole country at present.  While the State Government is funded to provide housing, Council can encourage sustainable development to make more land available for affordable and social housing.  We also need to work with all levels of government, stakeholders and providers to find innovative solutions to address our current and growing housing shortage.
James Murray: Unfortunately, I think the housing rental situation is not a council issue. Kyogle council should leave this to private enterprise or housing commission to provide housing. Many of us can remember the golf course estate fiasco and how ratepayers had to foot the bill in the form of a rate levy. Kyogle council has enough on its plate.
Vickie Steward: I would like to see a country style retirement village with a palliative care section for elderly locals who want to remain independent and active now, and not have to potentially move in later years.  Additional one and two bedroom units within walking distance of the shops would be beneficial, especially if well designed to minimise their environmental impact.
Danielle Mulholland: The rental shortage is due to a housing stock shortage.  We have been very vocal about affordable, social, emergency and crisis housing and will continue to advocate for more social housing as our current stocks are below the state average.  Kyogle Council has waived developer fees to attract investment and development to our area. We want to be able to accommodate everyone but we also don’t want to sacrifice our prime ag land to do it.
John Burley: Plan for appropriately located and designed residential development (with services and facilities). Plan to provide greater housing choice for our community. Ensure that infrastructure is delivered to meet needs of community, work with private sector to invest in needs-based housing. Lobby governments for assistance and support in social housing.


VOTE KYOGLE: Know more about the 12 people who could be your next councillors


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