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Defence estate audit unlocks housing supply opportunities


Today’s announcement of an audit into Defence owned property is an important step into providing more transparency around Commonwealth land and identifying more opportunities for land release to tackle the housing crisis says Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn.

“The Defence Strategic Review recommended the importance of identifying a baseline of real estate within the Defence portfolio.

“Consideration should be given to bases that are no longer fit for purpose, designating them for essential residential and commercial construction.

“Earmarking Commonwealth land for future developments will play a role in addressing inadequate housing supply.

“We need to see this approach extended across all Commonwealth departments. Currently, there is no readily available public data to show what other land release opportunities are available.

“Master Builders Australia has long advocated the need to release more Commonwealth land for the development of housing and publication of an inventory of current land holdings. The inventory should also be categorised according to its suitability for future residential development.

“National Cabinet recently reaffirmed their commitment to a coordinated effort in tackling the housing crisis and acknowledged the biggest barrier lies in a lack of supply.

“All levels of Government have a role to play in ensuring there is adequate supply of land, reforming the planning system to assist with getting projects off the ground and reducing the unnecessarily high costs of construction.

“The cost of building homes has been exacerbated over recent years with unnecessary delays and barriers encountered on their journey to completion. This includes planning impediments, lengthy approval processes and high developer charges on new land developments.

“By focusing on housing supply across the entire housing market including land releases in well-located areas, facilitates the movement through the housing spectrum, enabling lower-cost housing to become more affordable.

“With governments heading in the right direction to achieve the collective goal of tackling the housing crisis, Master Builders remains concerned the upcoming IR legislation proposed by Minister Burke will undermine these efforts,” Ms Wawn said.

Media contact:
Dee Zegarac
National Director, Media & Public Affairs
0400 493 071 |

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