“Right now there are thousands of people across Brisbane’s 190 suburbs who are hoping that LNP Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner made a New Year’s resolution to join the fight against the homelessness and housing crises gripping the city.”
That’s the message from Labor Opposition Leader Jared Cassidy who urged the Mayor to drop his mantra of ‘We’ve done enough’ and ‘It’s not our job’ and start implementing policies that can deliver real change and hope for the most vulnerable in our community.
“Just before Christmas it was great to see our neighbour Moreton Bay Regional Council waive $220,000 in infrastructure charges and development application fees to speed up construction of an 18-dwelling accommodation block for the homeless in Redcliffe.”
“It’s just a pity that the much bigger and wealthier Brisbane City Council cannot be as proactive to help the most needy in our society.”
“I wrote to Adrian Schrinner last year pleading with him to act. This crisis didn’t magically happen overnight. It’s been coming for a long time and this Mayor has been asleep at the wheel.”
“I know that Brisbane City Council cannot fix this by itself and that there needs to be a co-ordinated approach from all three levels of government - but at least get in the fight, at least act like you’re interested because I’ve never been more certain that there is a lot more that this Mayor could be doing.”
“Instead the Mayor is happy to gift millions of dollars to developers building fancy hotels in the CBD, but nothing to housing providers. It just shows you what the LNP’s priorities really are.”
“In 2019 this LNP Lord Mayor committed to delivering a Housing Strategy. Four years have passed and he still hasn’t done so. Since the 2019/20 FY to date Brisbane’s rateable residential properties have increased by 16,195 (this includes both owner occupier and rentals). In that time Brisbane’s population has grown by at least 100,000 people, possibly more. There have also been changes to the nature of housing here in Brisbane with lower numbers of rentals. The CTS – non-occupier category (rentals) have fallen to 2018 levels. This helps explain the low levels of rental availability.”
“In May last year Adrian Schrinner voted in the Council Chamber to establish a Homelessness Strategy for Brisbane. But since then he has walked back from this commitment saying he would rather just act than have a strategy in place.”
“Given the rising numbers of people sleeping rough, including an increasing number of families, it’s time the LNP Mayor swallowed his pride and got working on a homelessness strategy which should involve peak organisations and service providers working on the ground. He should also work closely with State and Federal Government agencies to make sure Council’s strategies line up with other levels of Government.”
“Labor Councillors would support increased investment in our own programs here in Council and broader support to non-government providers.”
“Adrian Schrinner and the Deputy Mayor and his Planning Committee Chair have all variously claimed lately that they cannot deliver a housing strategy because they are awaiting housing targets from the State Government. However they continue to deliver Neighbourhood Plans with clear housing increases in them based on targets they say are outdated. Something isn’t adding up here.”
“They have also said more recently that they already have ‘four housing strategies’ including the City Plan. Given the scale of the problem now facing Brisbane, I would suggest whatever plans they have been relying on are simply not cutting it.”
Cr Cassidy said there were immediate steps Council could take such as partnering with housing providers to increase stock, giving infrastructure charge discounts for affordable housing and practical zoning changes.
“Steps like these could have an immediate impact but Adrian Schrinner and his LNP Council have their priorities all wrong.”
“I was recently talking to staff at a local after-school care where I was told that three of their families are currently sleeping in their car.”
“These are families with school-aged children who are desperately trying to secure a home in the rental market but they simply can’t compete.”
“And this sad situation is not confined to one single school, I can assure you. It is happening in suburbs all over Brisbane.”
“I know the Lord Mayor said last year that he’s losing sleep over the planning for the 2032 Olympics but it’s things like this that he should be losing sleep over.”
“Having a roof over your head is a fundamental right of us all,” Cr Cassidy said.
If you need help call Lifeline 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or via online chat and the salvationarmy.org.au 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).