Rapid population growth drives higher prices for land and housing, with knock on consequences for rents and housing affordability, new figures released by the Government show. In response to a Question on Notice from Clifford Hayes in the Legislative Council, the Government this week advised there were 42,838 people on the Victorian public housing waiting list as of June 20, 2019. This number further ballooned to 44,379 in December, 2019. The Government also advised that: - The average waiting time for a person on priority access is 11.6 months - Average waiting times for people on the non-prioritised waiting list (Register of Interest) are not tracked - The waiting list has increased by 387 per cent per month in 2019. Comments are attributable to Sustainable Australia MP Clifford Hayes: “Melbourne’s rapid population growth of the past 15 years has led to these enormous public housing waiting lists.” “We can’t look after our own and yet our Government is hell bent on making Melbourne bigger and bigger.

“The Government has been so focussed on providing infrastructure to keep pace with the growth, that it has lost sight of the declining housing affordability and rising public housing demand. “This is a recipe for more homelessness and rough sleeping. People who cheerfully advocate a continuation of Melbourne’s skyrocketing population need to understand their role in undermining efforts to combat homelessness. “This huge growth hurts the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, and benefits the wealthy few.”