Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has moved a motion in State Parliament calling for the establishment of an inquiry into banning the ownership of residential property by foreign entities and owners.

Mr Ward said that every avenue needs to be pursued to ensure housing is made more affordable for the people of NSW.

“Between 1995-96 and 2011-12, the value of foreign investment approvals in Australian real estate increased from $12.4 billion to $59.1 billion. Since 1995-96, the number of foreign residential investment approvals in Australia has increased from 3,181 to 9,768,” Mr Ward said.

“There are many countries around the world where I can’t purchase land. Why should a foreign investor be able to buy land in NSW if I can’t do the same in their country.

“I note that Canada and New Zealand have established bans on foreign ownership. I believe we should examine the impacts on housing affordability in these jurisdictions and look to reforms that put Australians first,” he said.

“I want to encourage more people to own their own home, but first home buyers are being crowded-out by foreign investment. Australian first home buyers should be able to purchase their own home before foreign investors.

“Housing is a continuum and when you crowed out first home buyers, this also inflates the prices of rents.

“Whilst I appreciate a ban on foreign investment may require commonwealth involvement, NSW could lead the charge and this inquiry seeks to collect the evidence needed to press for real change that could improve housing affordability,” Mr Ward concluded.

Mr Ward’s motion is as follows:

  1. Establishes a Select Committee on banning residential property ownership by foreign investors and entities.
  2. That the committee consider making recommendations to the Commonwealth to ban foreign ownership of residential property
  3. Notes that centre-left governments in Canada and New Zealand have banned property ownership by foreign investors.
  4. That the committee comprise four government, three opposition and two crossbench members.