Die Nieu-Suid-Wallis premier, Dominic Perrottet, has left open the prospect of supporting federal Labor’s home equity scheme, saying he is open to “new ways of thinking” on housing affordability.
During a press conference with the prime minister, Scott Morrison, on Tuesday, the NSW premier publicly contradicted the federal Coalition’s opposition to the policy, telling media he believed it was “important that we’re open-minded” about addressing housing.
“I’m open to all ideas in relation to how we can drive home ownership. We cannot have an Australia that can’t house its children," hy het gesê.
“And we have an obligation, I believe, to look at innovative thinking about helping particularly young people get their keys to their very first home.”
Perrottet’s comments were in response to questions about the Labor party’s shared equity housing scheme, under which eligible applicants can get a commonwealth equity contribution of up to 40% of the purchase price of a new home.
The $329m scheme, which is modelled on existing policies in the UK and Western Australia, would provide support to about 10,000 homebuyers.
But it has been criticised by Morrison, who claimed Labor “wants the government to own your home”, despite him having expressed support for similar schemes in the past.
Standing alongside Morrison in the Sydney seat of Bennelong, Perrottet seemed to contradict the prime minister’s critique, saying governments “should be open to all new ideas”.
“In our upcoming budget here in our state next month, there’ll be a real focus on housing affordability," hy het gesê.
Asked whether he agreed with Morrison, who labelled it a “forced-to-buy” scheme, Perrottet said it was “important that we’re open-minded”.
“There will always be different views in relation to housing affordability,” Perrottet said.
“From my perspective, that is certainly the approach that we will take in our state.
“One thing, when it comes to housing affordability, that states can do is drive supply and open up opportunities and build infrastructure to support it.”
Despite Perrottet and Morrison both leading Coalition governments, they have butted heads in the past.
As recently as last week Perrottet chided Morrison for going too far in describing the state’s anti-corruption watchdog as a “kangaroo court”.
He repeated those criticisms as he stood beside Morrison on Tuesday, saying he accepted they “disagree” on the issue but conceded a response couldn’t be “one size fits all”.
“At its heart, what we both agree on is that there should be integrity agencies in place that ensure the best standards in public life,” Perrottet said.
“I agree with the prime minister [daardie] it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. With our integrity agency, the Icac in NSW, it differs from other integrity agencies in other state jurisdictions.
“Ultimately, here in our state, the Icac has played an important role in maintaining high standards in public office and in the public service.”
Perrottet, who leads a minority government in NSW, has also played down the federal Coalition’s warnings about the dangers of a hung parliament after the election.
Both men were keen to not dwell on their public disagreements, even as they continued to occur during the joint appearance.
“Neither of us are pushovers [maar] what we always agree on is the importance of the project or the task that we’re actually working on to achieve together,” Morrison said.
Perrottet said that while the two “don’t always agree” they have “robust discussions” to “stand up for our people”.
Last week Morrison was blasted by the outgoing Independent Commission Against Corruption (Icac) commissioner, Stephen Rushton, wie described critics who had labelled the watchdog a “kangaroo court”, including the prime minister, as “buffoons”.
On Tuesday the Australian Bar Association joined the criticism, with the body’s president, Dr Matt Collins AM QC, saying Morrison’s comments were “neither correct nor constructive”.
“While there is room for debate about the design, powers and mode of operation of anti-corruption bodies, it is neither correct nor constructive to characterise the NSW Icac as a kangaroo court," hy het gesê.
“A kangaroo court is a body that operates with disregard for or perversion of legal procedure. The Icac commissioners are highly experienced and respected jurists who preside over investigations conducted according to law and the powers given to them by the NSW parliament.”
Collins also took aim at the prime minister over his dismissal of criticisms of barristers during the press conference. Morrison had said he “didn’t care” if barristers disagreed with him over his comments about the Icac, and that he had “never had much truck” for the profession.
“Any person who has no truck with barristers cannot have made a conscientious effort to understand their indispensable contribution to civic society,” Collins said.
The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, held a press conference with Victorian premier Daniel Andrews in Melbourne on Tuesday to announce billions in funding for the state’s suburban rail loop project.
Asked to comment on Morrison’s claim that Albanese would be a “pushover” in funding negotiations with the state, Andrews took aim at Morrison, calling him “desperate”.
“That is a ridiculous suggestion that would only be made by a bloke who is so desperate, because he’s been there for a decade and done precisely nothing," hy het gesê.
Andrews said Victoria had been “ripped off” by the federal government.
“Every federal dollar that Victorians get from the miserable Morrison government [Dis soos] we ought to bow our head and treat it like it’s foreign aid," hy het gesê.
“We have been ripped off by this Liberal-National government, and instead of Mr Morrison talking about the issue, he ought to have been here delivering for Victorian workers and families.
“I’ve had a conversation with the prime minister about suburban rail loop, and zero dollars. Zero dollars.”
The Victoria premier said “the contrast could not be clearer” between Morrison and the Albanese.
“Anthony Albanese is about building things. He’s about partnership. He’s about creating jobs. He’s about making sure that our cities and regions, our nation, actually works.”