Gympie’s deepening housing crisis ignored in state budget
THE growing need for social and crisis housing in the Gympie region failed to register in the recent Queensland state budget, and Gympie MP Tony Perrett has backed the St Vinnies’ condemnation of that failure.
St Vinnies went to the extent of publishing an opinion piece on the “monemental failure” last week, pointing out that “by comparison, our government’s commitment is less than 9% of the $6 billion Victoria is investing (in social housing), despite Queensland having the highest rate of unemployment across the country”, it said.
And the Gympie region has one of the highest unemployment rates in Queensland, spiking to a five-year high in June.
“It’s definitely a problem in Gympie,” Mr Perrett said today.
“There is next to nothing for anyone who needs crisis accommodation, whether you call it social housing, crisis housing or welfare housing it’s a missed opportunity,” he said.
Mr Perrett said he was “extremely disappointed that Gympie had missed out on funding to address the problem.
“Despite record borrowings, an additional $28 billion added to State debt, housing missed out,” he said.
“We know it’s a problem.”
Before the election, the opposition spokesman for housing Michael Hart visited the Gympie region to meet with Community Action to get a clearer picture of the situation.
“There’s pressure on the private rental market which is putting further pressure on the social or welfare housing lists,” Mr Perrett said.
“My office is receiving calls from distressed residents trying to find crisis accommodation.
“We regularly ask the department directly to help those trying to find crisis accommodation.
“Only last month I was advised by the department there are no available vacancies.
“Even private renters are contacting me distressed that it is harder and harder to find somewhere to live.
“As I told the Parliament this week, Gympie is a high growth commercial and residential corridor in a strategic location with over three million consumers within a two-hour travelling time.
“Local real estate agents are reporting a tight property market with rentals snapped up as soon as they hit the market.
“The Budget has delivered no vision for Gympie’s future.”