The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:15): My question is to the Minister for Human Services about the government's commitment to convene the state's first cross-sector housing task force. Can the minister please provide an update to the council about the progress of the task force and their work in developing a housing and homeless strategy?

Members interjecting:


The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Wortley, allow the minister to answer the question.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (15:16): I thank the honourable member for her interest in this very important area. The new Marshall Liberal government has set up a cross-sector housing task force for South Australia for the first time ever, which brings together a diverse group of representatives and stakeholders from across the housing sector and industry to drive new housing solutions for all South Australians, which I think everybody would welcome.

Affordable housing and its importance to South Australia's economy, as well as ideas on how to improve housing options for the community, will be a focus of the inaugural meeting of the Housing and Homelessness Strategy Task Force. The task force is chaired by the South Australian Housing Trust Board presiding member, Mr Gary Storkey, and its members include: April Lawrie, the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People; Andrew Cairns, who is the chief executive officer for Community Sector Banking; Daniel Gannon, who is the executive director of the Property Council of Australia; Greg Troughton, who is the chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of South Australia; Helen Dyer, who is the deputy presiding member, State Commission Assessment Panel; Maria Hagias, who is the CEO for Women's Safety Services; Mel Blondell, board chair of Access 2 Place; Michael Lennon, the managing director of Housing Choices Australia; and Simon Schrapel, the chief executive of Uniting Communities.

Some 60 per cent of South Australian households are on low to moderate incomes, so many people find it difficult to purchase or rent an affordable home. The Marshall Liberal government wants to work with industry to make housing options available, especially for lower income families. Affordable housing is also important to our state's economy in terms of attracting and retaining people to live and work in South Australia.

Affordable housing gives people the stability they need to participate in the community and underpins the state's economy and population growth. The task force is considering, amongst other things, how best to improve affordable housing options for people on low and moderate incomes, including private rental and home ownership.

The development of our new housing and homelessness strategy will be a genuine partnership between government and the housing sector to find shared solutions to shared challenges. We will be undertaking community consultation as part of the development of a strategy later this year. It is to be a 10-year plan that the South Australian government is working on, so that we can actually have some oversight to this area, some of which takes some time to get on line, because planning laws and building approvals and finding the investment funds for those areas can take some time.

I look forward to engaging with the sector in this very important ongoing area, and to developing some important strategies, particularly for our younger people who, as we know, often are having trouble buying their first home. We have a lot of migrant communities in South Australia, who as new entrants to South Australia can find it challenging to purchase properties. We think it is very important also for key workers in South Australia that we actually have a range of options available, as well as, obviously, providing more stock to assist with people who are in the greatest need, that is, our homeless population.