Greens push for inquiry into government's plan to demolish public housing towers


The Victorian Greens will today push for a parliamentary inquiry into the Victorian Labor Government’s plan to demolish 44 public housing towers.

The Greens say Labor must come clean on the plan, which would see the towers razed, more than 10,000 public housing residents displaced, and most of the land privatised.

Despite Labor announcing the plan in September last year, they have so far refused to answer questions about it from residents, public housing experts, or the Greens.

An inquiry would force the government to reveal how a project like this stacks up in the midst of a housing crisis, and would investigate things like the rationale and cost-modelling for the decision, as well as its impact on current public housing residents.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said Labor had been walking away from public housing for years, and that this project could be the final nail in the coffin.

She added that if the government was gearing up to tear thousands of people from their homes, schools, and services, the least they could do was own up to it.

The Upper House will debate and vote on the Greens’ motion for an inquiry today.

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

"Labor is making the housing crisis worse.

"Tens of thousands of people can’t find a place to rent or even a bed to sleep on each night and over 120,000 people are on our state's wait list for public housing.

"And this is because Labor has failed to build the public housing stock we need, let alone spend enough on the upkeep of existing stock.

"And now they want to demolish our remaining public housing towers so they can privatise the majority of the land and outsource public housing.

"It's a plan that will displace 10,000 public housing residents and see the government hammer a final nail into the coffin of public housing in this state.

"We need an urgent inquiry so that the government is forced to come clean about their plans to displace residents and hand over large swathes of public housing land to private developers that could otherwise be used to build more public housing.”