Bay Post-Moruya Examiner

ACT senator fighting for more home-buyer opportunities

Zed Seselja's parents Kate and Loui Seselja outside the first family home they bought in Canberra after leaving Croatia to start a new life. Picture: Supplied

Whenever ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja talks about why he entered politics, he talks about his parents.

The Seseljas came from Croatia to Canberra and were able to build a new life in a new country, buying a family home on a single income, and raising a family in a growing, thriving city.

When it comes to his own kids, though, Zed said things aren't as simple anymore.

"I believe every Canberran deserves the opportunity to buy a home like my parents did, but it's becoming out of reach for many Canberra families," he said.

"The reality is, housing supply isn't keeping up with demand and there just isn't enough land and enough homes to give Canberrans the chance to buy a family home."

Zed said that in the ACT there was "a unique situation where the local ACT Labor Greens Government has complete control of land release, creating a monopoly that restricts the availability of homes".

"Their iron-grip on land supply has been a problem for years, even former Labor chief minister Jon Stanhope has called the ACT Government out on this issue," he said.

This lack of supply was demonstrated when late last year, blocks of land were released for the new Canberra suburb of Taylor - 115 blocks of land went on the market and there were 7,500 applications.

"That's not just a number, that's 7,500 Canberrans trying to get a home," Zed said.

"So there's no doubt we need more land and more homes here in Canberra, and since I entered the Senate I've been fighting to get that for Canberrans."

ACT Senator Zed Seselja with some fellow Canberrans. Picture: Supplied

In 2014, Zed drove a review of the National Capital Plan which resulted in 726 hectares of land in West Tuggeranong being transferred from Commonwealth control to the ACT Government for potential residential development.

"The ACT Government have that land available right now for around 5,500 new homes but they have not done anything about it," Zed said.

But Zed hasn't let that inaction get in the way of his advocacy for more homes for Canberra families.

When he learned there was a parcel of land owned by CSIRO and surplus to their requirements, he began fighting to have that land repurposed for the benefit of the Canberra community.

He wrote to his ministerial colleagues about getting that land put to market for new family homes.

And now the Liberal National Government have agreed that if re-elected they will, by the end of 2022, put that land to market. The 243 hectares is space for around 2000 new Canberra homes - housing for around 4,500 people.

"This doesn't solve the supply problem completely," Zed said, "but it makes a difference and the more chances we can give Canberrans to buy a home the better."

With the support the Liberal National Government is giving first home buyers through the New Home Guarantee and First Home Super Saver schemes, Zed said more Canberrans have the chance to fulfil the Australian dream of buying their own home.

"As a born-and-bred Canberran, I understand how important housing is to our community and my commitment is to always fight for Canberra families to get more land and more homes," Zed said.

This content is authorised by P Pentony, Liberal Party of Australia, 4/50 Geils Court DEAKIN ACT 2600.