The McGowan Labor Government’s abject failure to prepare for the opening of the border during the past two years will be most evidenced in the housing sector, according to Dr David Honey MLA, Leader of the WA Liberal Party.

REIWA figures show that there are now less than 350 houses in the Perth metro area with advertised rents priced at or below the median house rental price of $450 per week.

“Overall, the number of affordable properties advertised by REIWA continues to fall below the 400 reported in January,” said Dr Honey.

“Over the coming days and weeks, we will see thousands of people coming into Western Australia and the tragedy is that many will struggle to find somewhere to live.

“Our current rental crisis is becoming chronic as more people chase a diminishing pool of affordable houses, therefore putting upward pressure on rental prices.

“In the Premier’s own electorate of Rockingham there are only three houses advertised for rent in this affordable price range – even though Rockingham was once deemed to be one of the most affordable places for families to live in Perth.

“The rental crisis in Western Australia underscores how Premier McGowan has failed to prepare for the re-opening of our borders over the past two years through his Government’s mismanagement of our State,” said Dr Honey.

The Hon Steve Martin MLC, the Shadow Minister for Housing added that the rental crisis was impacting on regional areas that urgently needed places to house workers.

“The State Labor Government simply has not put an effective plan in place to deal with the massive pressure that will be placed on Western Australia’s already over-stressed rental housing market with the opening of the border.

“The resources sector desperately needs thousands of additional workers in regional areas. Although the border has now opened, the reality is there is virtually no place for them to live.

“In Kalgoorlie, for example, the rental vacancy rate is worse than Perth. There are currently only 7 houses with a median advertised price of $450 per week or below.

“This has also led to a worsening of WA Labor’s unacceptable homelessness crisis under their Minister, John Carey. The number of people experiencing homelessness in Perth and surrounds has increased by nearly 70% since November 2020.

“Western Australians can rightfully blame the Labor State Government for this rental crisis because they have failed to address the immediate shortage of housing stock, while selling off large numbers of Government-owned social housing over recent years.

“Our economy will suffer unless we urgently increase the supply of houses in our State,” said Hon Steve Martin MLC.