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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1029 asked in the Legislative Council on 18 September 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon P.C. Tinley
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

REGIONAL HOME OWNERSHIP

1029. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the Minister for Housing:

In 2015, banks raised the minimum deposit to 30 per cent for homebuyers in regional Australia.

(1) Given that the mining industry is now recovering, when can we expect regional homebuyers to enjoy the same rate as metropolitan homebuyers?

(2) Will the state government encourage the banks to lend a percentage of their loan dollars to regional Australia's homebuyers?

(3) Can the state government see the benefits to regional shires and local service industries if home ownership is encouraged?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

The following information has been provided to me by the Minister for Housing.

(1)–(3) In accordance with section 51 of the Australian Constitution, banking regulation and financial corporations policy falls under the jurisdiction of the commonwealth government. In respect of matters within the purview of the state government, the Keystart program continues to support customers in regional Western Australia. Keystart approved 396 loans across regional Western Australia in 2015–16; 313 in 2016–17; 392 in 2017–18; 390 in 2018–19; and 114 to date in 2019–20. That is a total of 1 605 loans since 2015–16.

The McGowan government recognises that secure and affordable housing provides an essential foundation for individual and family stability, resilience and connection to community. The government supports regional home ownership in a number of ways, including through Keystart, which is able to offer low-deposit home loans to Western Australians, including those in regional areas, with more than $4 billion in state borrowings, approximately 25 per cent of which flows to regional home buyers. The Country Housing Authority provides housing loans to Western Australian farmers and rural businesses where finance options are limited. The home ownership subsidy scheme encourages more employees to commit to regional communities for the longer term. These homes are for skilled government employees and ensures that a broad range of services are available to develop regional communities. The North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund and transitional housing initiatives use access to housing to promote employment, education and general wellbeing outcomes.