Greens hit back at Premier's comments, push for public and affordable homes in planning reforms


The Victorian Greens have hit back at comments made by the Premier in which he claimed the Greens were in the “cheap seats” calling for the government to do more on housing and for renters.

The Premier made the comments yesterday in response to the Greens’ call for a rent freeze and cap on rent increases, to tackle the worsening housing crisis and support the many renters on the brink of homelessness.

The Greens say the Premier has done almost nothing to tackle the housing crisis to date, and only committed to consider rent controls following constructive negotiations with the Greens earlier this year.

The Greens add that with the Victorian Labor Government set to unveil major planning reforms at some point in the coming months, it is very likely the government will be relying on the Greens to get those reforms across the line.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said for years this government had directly contributed to the housing crisis, in prioritising the building of billion-dollar empty prisons over public and affordable housing, while doing nothing for renters.

She said she was bemused that the Premier appeared more focused on the politics of attacking the Greens during the housing crisis, particularly when the government continually relies on the party to improve and pass critical legislation.

The Greens have previously said that in order to ensure their support for any upcoming planning reforms, the government must guarantee that half of all new homes in developments are public and affordable, and commit to a state-wide rent freeze.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC: 

“Renters don’t care about the Premier’s political obsessions, they want policies now to help them which is what we are focused on.

“The Premier likes to arrogantly dismiss the Greens as unimportant, but he must be in a different Parliament to the rest of us, as they will likely rely on us to pass their upcoming planning reforms.

“We are the only party holding the Labor government to account in Victoria, and putting the big ideas on the agenda to help thousands of renters struggling with cost-of-living pressures. 

“If Labor is serious about tackling the housing crisis and ensuring our support for these planning reforms, they need to guarantee that 50 per cent of new homes are public or affordable, and introduce a two-year rent freeze.”