Taking up the reins

It's a tremendous honour to be taking up the reins at the Property Council.

The industry owes a great debt of gratitude to Peter Verwer for his leadership over two decades and I look forward to building on his legacy.

Last week the tax wolves were howling at the industry's door again. This time it was the Murray inquiry into Australia's financial system taking aim at negative gearing. It's a taste of what's to come with the federal government intending to embark on a tax reform white paper before the end of the year.

So far the public tax debate has focused exclusively on what taxes should go up. The need to retire Australia's most harmful and growth-distorting taxes - like stamp duties - seems to have been lost. Expect to hear much more on this from the Property Council over coming months.