YESTERDAY'S announcement by Housing Minister Tim Mander that rainwater tanks and solar, gas or heat pump hot water systems will no longer be compulsory is further evidence that the LNP has a poor grasp of both sustainability and housing affordability, say the Queensland Greens.
Housing Minister Tim Mander said the changes would potentially reduce the cost of building a new home by more than $5000.
"These requirements add an unnecessary cost to homeowners and place an unwanted drag on the construction industry," Mr Mander said.
"Taken in conjunction with the $15,000 first home owner's grant for new dwellings, that's a massive saving for anyone planning on building a new home.
"People who want to install rainwater tanks or a particular type of hot water system can still do so. The difference is that the decision is now theirs to make."
Lead Senate Candidate for the Queensland Greens Adam Stone said Minister Mander's changes will increase the cost of living and decrease housing affordability in the long-term.
"It is ridiculous to represent measures that will add substantially to the cost of living in a house as improvements to housing affordability.
"Electric hot water systems are hugely inefficient and drive up household electricity bills, and obviously without a water tank households will spend more on their water bills. Any upfront savings will very quickly be eclipsed by spending more, year after year, on utility bills.
"This will be particularly hard on renters, who will pay the ongoing costs of the upfront savings enjoyed by property investors.
"A far more sensible and fiscally responsible option for improving housing affordability would be to stop wasting money on $15000 payments to help with the purchase of new homes - payments that benefit the housing construction sector and recipients of the grant while inflating house prices for everyone."
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