How to fix Australia’s housing problem – a special Grattan Webinar event -

Australia has a housing affordability problem. Australians, particularly those on low incomes, are spending more on housing than they used to. Demand for social housing is rising. More people are becoming homelessness. And home ownership rates are falling, especially among the young and the poor.

A major new Productivity Commission study explores what changes are needed to reverse course. In this special Grattan Institute Webinar event, two of Australia’s leading housing policy experts – PEXA Chief Economist Julie Toth and Grattan Economic Policy Program Director Brendan Coates –will discuss the Commission’s recommendations with Productivity Commissioner Malcolm Roberts.

This will be a wide-ranging conversation about reforms to improve housing affordability. We will focus on how the federal and state governments can work together to solve one of Australia’s biggest policy challenges. We will identify the roadblocks to worthwhile reforms. And we want to hear from you — please join in by submitting your questions.


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Malcolm Roberts


Malcolm was appointed as a full time Commissioner to the Productivity Commission in 2019. After many years serving as a policy adviser to ministers, Malcolm led policy development and advocacy for national peak bodies in the housing, retail, and energy sectors. Over the past 10 years, his career has focused on energy policy, serving as CEO of the National Generators’ Forum, the Energy Networks Association, and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association. Malcolm is also a former chair of the Queensland Competition Authority.

Julie Toth


Julie joined PEXA as Chief Economist in August 2022. Her expertise spans property markets, land use, labour markets, demographics, immigration, industry innovation, and productivity trends. Julie has provided economic insight and leadership at Nous Group, Australian Industry Group, the ANZ Bank, and the Productivity Commission. She is a member of the Melbourne Economic Forum for the University of Melbourne and Victoria University, and a member of the National Economic Policy Panel for the Economic Society of Australia.

Brendan Coates


Brendan is the Economic Policy Program Director at Grattan Institute, where he leads the think tank’s work on tax and transfer system reform, retirement incomes and superannuation, housing, macroeconomics, and migration. He is a former macro-financial economist with the World Bank in Indonesia and consulted to the Bank in Latin America. He previously worked as a macro-financial economist with the World Bank in Indonesia and Latin America, and in a number of roles with the Australian Treasury.