The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (11:57): I rise to speak in support of the member of Waite's motion:
That this house opposes Bill Shorten and Labor's plans to abolish negative gearing and increase capital gains tax by 50 per cent, which would damage Australia's housing market and destroy equity in people's homes.
The federal Labor Party's policy to make changes to negative gearing and increase the capital gains tax is coming at the worst possible time for the property market. We have seen that property prices are already on the decline in the Eastern States. Fortunately, property prices are still quite strong in South Australia, thanks to the policies and practices of the Marshall Liberal government, but Labor's planned changes are ringing alarm bells at every corner.
Labor thinks that this policy will impact the top end of town and bring more money back to the economy, but I can tell you that this housing tax will hurt everyday Australians the most. Everyday Australians are the backbone of our state and our communities. This policy has the potential to impact the property prices of around 1.3 million property owners across Australia. Approximately two-thirds of these people earn less than $80,000 a year and many are mum-and-dad investors.
This policy will hurt not just those who negatively gear investments but every property owner who has worked long and hard to build equity in their assets—assets they may have been building for their retirement. Independent analysis conducted by the Master Builders Association has shown that Labor's higher taxes will also lead to less building and investment, which will result in fewer jobs. Not only is the Labor Party determined to hurt everyday Australian families but this policy will also harm the construction industry and the other sectors that flow on from this industry—again, that means it will hurt jobs. The Marshall Liberal government is putting the cranes into the sky and Bill Shorten and a potential Labor government want to take them down.
A report conducted by RiskWise warned that median house prices could fall by a staggering 9 per cent. Reports by BIS Shrapnel show that this policy could see rents rise by as much as 10 per cent. This policy will be devastating for people—whether students, families or retirees—at all levels of the property market, whether renting, owning or investing. In turn, this policy will also see increases in the cost of living for many people, with effects on family businesses and family incomes. Renters will also have to spend much more on rent each week, instead of putting their money aside so they can one day achieve their own goal of owning a home.
We know that Labor does not care about the economy. The federal Liberal Party has worked extremely hard to fix up the mess of previous Labor governments and turn our economy around. Last night, we finally saw the federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, forecast a budget surplus for the first time in 10 years. Unlike those opposite and their federal Labor colleagues, the Liberal Party do their research. We talk to the people that these policies affect. We look at the statistics and read the reports produced by the experts. We know that this Shorten Labor policy will not work. By introducing such a short-sighted and ridiculous policy, the Labor Party will hurt everyday Australians. They will hurt families and jobs and they will hurt our state.