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Property on reform agenda

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Scott Morrison has pledged to make Australian homes more affordable, directly contradicting his predecessor Joe Hockey.

In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, the newly promoted Treasurer said there was much to improve for both home buyers and investors, including an overhaul of the planning, development an approval process.

“There’s a really big regulation modernisation agenda for the housing sector, and that can really improve competitiveness and efficiency,” Mr Morrison told Fairfax Media.

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“One of the biggest competition inhibitors is the housing market.

“If you’ve ever tried to add an extension or build a house you know what has to be done.”

Mr Morrison was on a different page to his predecessor.

“I want to see people get into a job and get into a house,” he said during a press conference on Friday.

Mr Morrison is taking a different approach than Mr Hockey.
Mr Morrison is taking a different approach than Mr Hockey. Photo: Getty

“It’s important for our economy and for society.”

When Mr Hockey was asked about how first home buyers were finding it hard to buy into the market, he infamously replied they should “get a good job”.

Mr Morrison said the reform of the property market needed national leadership, with input from the states.

The housing issues were recently added to the schedule for the previous meeting of state and federal leaders, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

“The last leaders’ meeting was quite a turning point; housing previously hadn’t been on the agenda,” he told Fairfax Media.

While working as Social Services Minister, Mr Morrison said he had wanted this on the agenda because a spike in housing prices was putting properties out of reach and driving up homelessness, the news agency reported.

The new Treasurer promised to advocate for this as an economic reform.

“In the housing sector we haven’t had much reform in years.”

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