Home Property Australia Chief Executive | Tax frameworks – let’s aim for ‘least-bad’

Chief Executive | Tax frameworks – let’s aim for ‘least-bad’

  • October 18, 2023
  • by Mike Zorbas

The existence of our fourth reader was confirmed courtesy of the first Wednesday Parliamentary Question Time for new Victorian Premier Jacinta Allen.

The Victorian Opposition Leader, John Pesutto, leaving nothing to chance with some top shelf tax content

Opposition Leader John Pesutto shared our quote about trust in (housing) partnerships. A belated thank you to John, setting a new land speed record for this editorial entering parliamentary debate.

This most recent Victorian taxathon, of the dozens of property tax changes in Victoria over the past decade, is a reform reminder.

National Cabinet needs to move to a ‘least-bad’ tax philosophy with national targets.

Like the national housing targets, we need governments and parliaments to agree in principle to be efficient about gathering the revenue to support our common wealth.

That the least investment deterred, per dollar raised, is an aim worthy of parliamentary agreement.

This is not criticising the level of taxes. (Besides, reminders that property has long been the bulwark of most state budgets risk being both incontestable and boring.)

We need a governing framework where the agreed tax needs of the Australian or state governments are ideally set once a political term, barring pandemics etc. It should be possible.

Anything to avoid the constant tax-changing that wastes so much money and time in annual, or in Victoria and NSW seemingly twice yearly, changes to policy that directly impact investment and projects in the productive parts of our cities.

Many of these tax changes have a disproportionate impact on firms deploying money and creating jobs that build our cities and, consequently, on the customer who seeks, among other things, ‘affordable’ housing. More on this in coming months.

Next week, ThinCap and Building 4.0 CRC.


I am mindful that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who campaigned for the Voice have asked for a week of reflection following Saturday’s referendum result, itself a part of processes that keep us a healthy, stable democracy.

The Property Council’s RAP working group will lead our reflections, just as they continue our organisational commitment to the reconciliation process across our industry, communities and the small things we can each do every day around the nation.