ELECTION ISSUE: Blacks Real Estate director Greg Lewis (left), Dawson MP George Christensen and PRD Nationwide Mackay principal Greg Chappell discuss negative gearing.
ELECTION ISSUE: Blacks Real Estate director Greg Lewis (left), Dawson MP George Christensen and PRD Nationwide Mackay principal Greg Chappell discuss negative gearing. Luke Mortimer

House prices at risk if ALP changes negative gearing: MP

HOUSE prices in Mackay will plummet and rents will rise if Labor halts negative gearing on established housing, Member for Dawson George Christensen warns.

Mackay was "the negative gearing capital of Australia", Mr Christensen said. About 5000 people in Mackay were negative gearing and 10,300 people in Dawson.

At a meeting with Mackay region real estate agents yesterday, Mr Christensen was backed by PRD Nationwide Mackay principal Greg Chappell and Blacks Real Estate director Greg Lewis and others.

Mr Chappell said "alterations to negative gearing in an adverse way at this time will be extremely detrimental".

"It would create a downslide which is not needed in the economy of Queensland's regional cities," he said. "(Negative gearing) sustains housing for people... the government will have to provide for public housing, investors won't invest, rents will go up."

Mr Christensen, Mr Chappell and Mr Lewis said Labor's policy would affect "mum and dad investors" not just the big end of town, as Labor has said.

However, Labor candidate for Dawson Frank Gilbert said negative gearing was preventing first home buyers from breaking into the property market and "had outlived its usefulness".

Allowing negative gearing only on new homes would give the building industry a boost and save taxpayer dollars, he said.

Labor's negative gearing plan, proposed to start July 1, 2017, would not be retrospective. ATO statistics show investors claimed more than $12b in losses through negative gearing in 2012-13.



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