Queensland childcare workers priced out of housing
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Queensland’s ECEC workforce is being priced out of property: report

Queensland’s ECEC workforce is being priced out of property: report

by Freya Lucas

July 08, 2024

Frontline workers, including those working in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, are being priced out of affordable housing, a new report released by the Property Council of Australia has shown. 


Drawing on data from the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, REIQ and CoreLogic, the Beyond Reach report applied average household incomes for ECEC educators, teachers, nurses, police and public servants and measured them against the median price for new and established homes and apartments.


“Most of South East Queensland is a ‘no go zone’ for frontline workers hoping to get their foot on the property ladder,” Property Council of Australia Queensland Executive Director Jess Caire said, saying the report should provoke decision makers into “political bravery and real industry consultation.” 


“We need decisive action to change the policies and tax settings that punish growth and punish home buyers,” she said.


“These are the same people we rely on to save lives, fight crime and teach our children, and it will be Queensland’s loss when they are forced to choose a new career or a new state to live in because they can’t afford to live here.” 


For dual income families with an average gross income of $150,000, buying an established home is ranked ‘beyond reach’ according to the reports data, and it’s a similar story for house and land packages, which are deemed ‘unaffordable’.


“The research shows no essential worker can afford to buy or rent a home, or unit, on their own in South East Queensland,” Ms Caire said.


The first Beyond Reach report, published in 2007, predicted Queensland would face ‘a housing crisis of dire proportions’ without pragmatic policy solutions. These included improving development assessments, ensuring adequate land supply to meet demand, and providing key infrastructure to support growth.


Fast forward 17 years, and with 12 new and/or increased taxes imposed on the sector, and government fees and charges contributing to more than 30 per cent of the cost of a new apartment and house and land package, the first nine years of a mortgage are now spent paying off taxes, fees and charges – plus interest – leaving Ms Caire to note that the warnings of the first report have proven accurate.


“Queensland’s prevailing policy settings are exacerbating the housing crisis,” she said.


“Housing is more expensive than it needs to be, red tape is making it more difficult to deliver, and the slow pace of infrastructure delivery has made it harder to unlock new sites.The initial Beyond Reach report from 2007 predicted this housing crisis and its policy recommendations fell on deaf ears.”


“We will be calling on the newly formed government, post the October election, to commit to a thorough evidence-based review of the impact taxation has on the delivery of new homes in Queensland,” she continued.


“It’s time for political bravery and real industry consultation. We need decisive action to change the policies and tax settings that punish growth and punish home buyers.” 


Access the report here

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