Independent Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP is calling on the Minns Labor Government to keep both the higher stamp duty exemption and the land tax option to give first home buyers a choice and greater a chance of living the Aussie dream.

Mr Ward said it’s getting more and more difficult for young people to get a foot in the door when it comes to buying a home, especially in his electorate where the median house price range is above $1,000,000.

“I support Premier’s move to lift the stamp duty cap on properties worth $650,000 to $800,000. I think it’s fair, I think it will give a real leg up to first home buyers who can find a property in that range,” Mr Ward said.

“However, in my electorate no one looking to purchase a property will benefit from the proposals by the Premier. The average housing price in Shellharbour is $1.1 million, Kiama $1.4 million and the Shoalhaven it is around $1 million.

“Which is why I voted in favour of the stamp duty exemptions and to preserve the option of paying land tax rather than guillotining choices that people can make that are right for them and for their family.

“We know the land tax scheme is popular, with 4,842 buyers taking it up since it’s been in place earlier this year, including 1,000 already in May.

“It’s a good scheme and we should give it time to work and in the future look at broadening it to more people to allow more flexibility and more choice.

“Housing affordability and housing supply will be the single biggest challenge the NSW Labor Government will face this term, so let’s really work together to get the legislation right and get more Aussies into their own homes.”