Grim milestone for social housing as Minister Carey ducks the numbers

The Cook Labor Government reached another grim milestone this week with a record 20,000 applications now on the public housing waitlist.

Shadow Housing Minister Steve Martin said the shameful figures, revealed in Parliament yesterday, were compounded by Housing Minister John Carey’s continuing refusal to answer questions about how many new social homes are being completed each month.

“The waitlist of 20,132 applicants represents 35,924 vulnerable Western Australians waiting for a house to live in,” Mr Martin said.

“With housing supply still chronically low, an 18 per cent increase in Perth house prices over the past year and a rental vacancy rate of 0.4 per cent, this record can’t possibly have come as a surprise to the Cook Government but still Minister Carey does nothing.”

Minister Carey yesterday, for the second month in a row refused to tell Parliament how many new social homes he had added to the State’s stock in the preceding month.

“Is it that he can’t or won’t,” Mr Martin said.

“I’m sure it’s simply a case of won’t because the figure would be embarrassing for the Cook Government.

“If the Minister had good news to tell, you can be sure he’d be falling over himself to produce the figure.

“Western Australians expect the State Government to be accountable and Parliamentary questions are one of the key mechanisms to achieve that.

“The Minister’s continual obfuscations show he’s embarrassed by the answers and doesn’t want to be held accountable.”