The start of another year can often be full of mayhem as schedules, budgets and targets are set. Amidst the backdrop of a new Government, the Property Council has been deep in strategy mode, reflecting on and preparing our agenda for the year ahead.
In the coming months, the Property Council will be advocating the priority issues of our members to both sides of Government. Our strategy is focused on advancing the interests of our members, in areas such as tax reform, infrastructure delivery, economic management, housing affordability and regulatory reform.
With policy committees appointed for 2015-16 and a new Division Council at the helm, we are already hard at work making our case before the newly minted Andrews Government.
The Property Council has identified a number of opportunities to make Victoria the best state to invest, manage and own property. These include:
- confirming as quickly as possible the status of the East-West Link project;
- ·negotiating a new use for Victoria’s share of Commonwealth funding for the East-West Link project;
- designing an effective framework for their proposed Infrastructure Victoria governance body;
- quickly reviewing and implementing commercial licensing reform;
- managing Victoria’s above trend population growth by investing in arterial roads in the growth areas;
- tackling Victoria’s worsening congestion by eliminating 20 level crossings before 2019;
- creating a new Minister for Retirement Living to manage investment, tax obligations and Aged Care Rule reform;
- implementing Plan Melbourne;
- proactively tackling Victoria’s worsening unemployment rate; and
- transparently assessing and confirming the location of Victoria’ next deep water port.
In the long term, having a strong infrastructure investment strategy and a steady pipeline of projects will be crucial to Victoria’s growth. According to a survey of Property Council members in November, this is a top priority for the property and construction industry. More than 84 per cent of respondents listed ‘under-investment in infrastructure’ as the biggest threat to Victoria’s economic growth over the next four years.
Tax reform – namely a review of Victoria’s property tax arrangements – is another matter of priority that will be necessary for easing our state’s property tax dependency. The Andrews Government has promised no new or increased taxes, and this is an important commitment that the Property Council will expect to be honoured.
In 2015, the Property Council as well as its committees will be working hard to deliver on these ongoing priorities and ensure that our advocacy helps advance the case for Victoria’s property industry. We are excited about the opportunities that 2011 has in store and look forward to working with you to inform the key decisions of our state.