Our 13-point plan

Property Council WA has offered the State Government industry support to protect incomes, jobs and solvency as WA battles to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer said the property industry will be the key to a broader post-pandemic economic recovery and there are 13 actions the State Government could take now to make that happen.

New fees and charges should be suspended immediately. The May 1 implementation of the National Construction Code was now unworkable, given the disruption occurring ahead of the deadline and this should now be delayed.

The 75 per cent stamp duty rebate should apply to all apartments sold off-the-plan or those under construction and the foreign buyers surcharge should be suspended for six months.

Lodgement fees for all development approvals and building permits should be deferred for six to 12 months, improving cashflow and stemming job losses.

Accelerating planning approvals will keep the industry going. Ensuring the planning system continues to operate during the crisis is also critical to avoid a backlog of development applications awaiting approval once the virus has passed.

Ms Brewer said local governments with substantial reserves should be offering commercial and retail property tenants substantial rate reductions over the next six months. There should be an automatic extension of existing development approvals by 12 to 24 months.

Ongoing regulatory reviews and consultations, including an unwieldy and complex review of the Retirement Villages Act and the Commercial Buildings Approval reforms should be suspended immediately.

“The WA economy will recover from this unprecedented economic interruption,” Ms Brewer said. “But for now, the priority is to retain as many jobs as possible in the sector that employs more West Australians than mining and manufacturing combined.

“We’re ready to work with the State Government to reduce red tape to ensure there are no regulatory impediments to business survival.”

In addition to these measures, Property Council WA has also engaged with various ministers and their offices on other actions that would assist the property industry at this time, including suspending the collection of Developer Contributions and the Perth Parking Levy.