Opposition calls for greater transparency after Cook Labor Government releases old data

The Opposition is calling on the Cook Labor Government to commit to greater transparency on key housing figures after a question from Shadow Housing Minister Steve Martin came back with numbers almost six weeks old.

“We’re experiencing one of the most significant housing crises that we’ve seen in Western Australia in a generation, and the community is absolutely right to expect transparency from the Minister responsible for managing that problem,” Mr Martin said.

“I asked for the current total number of social housing stock in Western Australia. How is it possible that the Government wouldn’t have the exact figure, for September or at least the end of August?”

Mr Martin said that the answer he received showed that the Cook Labor Government is still struggling to manage its housing programs effectively.

“As of July 31, WA has 43 795 social houses – combined public and community homes – in stock,” Mr Martin said.

“That’s around 300 less in total than when Labor came to power six years ago. In that same time, the Estimated Resident Population of WA has increased by well over 200,000 people.

“Of the public housing directly managed by the Department of Communities, there are 1821 sitting vacant – that’s five per cent of the total stock.

“The Minister spends a lot of time blaming the housing crisis on current construction pressures, but the truth is that Labor has spent years failing to prepare for this problem.

“Government efforts to build more homes directly through the Department of Communities have long been inadequate. In 2020-21, they built only 93, in 2021-22 they built 264.

“The total number of social housing stock has decreased year-on-year in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. It’s no wonder they’re still down on where we were in 2017.”