Creating for Generations

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Creating for Generations was a major campaign we ran throughout 2018 to help educate community, governments, business and other stakeholders about the critically important role the property industry plays in Australian society.

Launched in January 2018, the campaign featured stories, research and facts to paint a picture of the different aspects of the industry. It ran across all media platforms – earned, owned and paid, and featured resources that every member could use within their organisations and on social media platforms.

The key message supporting Creating for Generations was that the property industry’s growth is good for Australia.

The research undertaken for this campaign identified that the property industry was not only the biggest direct contributor to Australia’s GDP, generating $202 billion a year at the time, but also the biggest employer – providing 1.4 million jobs and supporting one in four wages across the country. It also highlighted the significant tax contribution made by the industry to support critical services and infrastructure.

Creating for Generations helped inform Australians about the contribution and the great stories about our members. It was a truly collaborative campaign and we invited everyone in our industry to participate – members enthusiastically used the collateral with their people, suppliers and customers, and showcased campaign messages to the public across their property assets.

Property Council CEO at the time, Ken Morrison, said of the campaign:

“When you look at the cranes, bulldozers and hi-vis vests around our cities at the moment, it is so apparent that our industry is a driver of the growth we are now seeing across the economy.

“At the end of the mining boom, it was our industry that provided the jobs and investment that Australia sorely needed. Through good times and bad, we create housing and business spaces for our communities and provide prosperity for households around the country.”

Find out more about this campaign and access the resources below. 

Fixing housing affordability

Good housing choices knit communities and cities together. They offer people the option to live and work where they wish, match housing options to their lifestyle and family needs, and the security of a good home.

Getting this right matters because people need housing choice and affordable options as they move through life.

We can make more housing available at an affordable price if governments work together to:

  • Bridge the deposit gap for people wanting to get into the housing market by providing low deposit home loans similar to the Keystart model in Western Australia
  • Ensure we have a sufficient supply, diversity and choice of housing by embedding a sustainable pipeline of land release and urban renewal opportunities in the strategic plans for our capital cities
  • Reduce the burden of taxation on new housing – where government taxes, charges and regulatory costs can add up to 50 percent to the price
  • Curb the time, cost and red tape built into planning approvals
  • Recognise the importance of negative gearing to a healthy rental market by maintaining it
  • Giving renters more choice by seeding a new build-to-rent sector in Australia that brings institutional capital to the table
  • Encourage pensioners to downsize by quarantining a portion of surplus cash from the pension eligibility test.
  • Measure the market – and performance of governments – by capturing and providing better data on housing supply and forecasts

The Property Council of Australia’s 10-point plan for housing affordability identifies solutions needed to ensure homebuyers are not locked out of the market.

Download the plan here Fix Housing Affordability

Shaping thriving cities for our future

Most Australians live in cities, big or small. In fact, Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world and our cities generate more than 80 percent of our economy.

Our big cities are growing, with more than three quarters of Australia’s future population growth expected to occur in just four cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth).

So it is vital that governments get ahead of the game to make our cities more liveable and prosperous, even as they grow.

All our cities need a clear plan for their future, a pipeline of economic and social infrastructure to support them, and a focus on their long-term needs from governments.

Every level of government has responsibilities here. Local councils must facilitate the housing, commercial areas and community infrastructure we need. States and territories must set strategies, deliver infrastructure, and make planning efficient and fair. And the Commonwealth must support major infrastructure and invest in a way that makes our cities better.

That’s why we also need a new ‘compact’ that binds governments at the state, territory and federal levels to work together and improve liveability and productivity.

City Deals are a solution to this challenge – and we should have one in place for all major capital cities by 2019, as well as some of our largest regional centres.

City Deals are premised on a simple concept – and a proven model in the UK.

They see governments commit to a suite of targets, investments and policy reforms that can underpin good growth and drive economic outcomes.

They enable governments to make better choices about how and where they direct infrastructure spending, as it is tied to pre-agreed priorities.

City Deals also include incentives for improvements to housing supply and planning systems so they can deliver on the predicted growth.

Infrastructure to keep our cities moving

Infrastructure is the lifeblood of our cities.

Good transport connects people to where they live, work and play – and essential social infrastructure like schools and hospitals gives people the services they deserve.

That’s why need to reinforce the need for governments to look over the horizon and better plan, fund and deliver the infrastructure our cities need.

Setting and sticking to clear, evidence-based infrastructure priorities identified by Infrastructure Australia can remove the political risk attached to projects being announced, but then deferred or cancelled.

A range of solutions exist to fast track the delivery of much-needed infrastructuree:

  • Ensuring the states have transport and social infrastructure hardwired into the strategic plans for capital cities – including funding solutions.
  • Ensuring strong independent infrastructure bodies exist in all jurisdictions to create apolitical and long-term infrastructure plans.
  • Bringing forward the allocated infrastructure spending for the National Urban Rail from 10 years to 5 years, with a focus on partnering with state and territory governments to deliver urban rail projects in all our major cities.
  • Ensuring infrastructure markets are structured to support private sector investment, so public money can be channelled to where we need it most.
  • Establishing effective corridor protection now to pave the way for future infrastructure projects.
  • Re-establishing the asset recycling program, which can free up funds from surplus government assets to fund infrastructure.
  • Creating a framework for trialling Tax Increment Financing (TIF) – a method of funding commonly used in the UK and US. TIF involves governments issuing bonds to pay for infrastructure and recapitalising them through the tax revenues arising from the economic growth that follows. TIF enforces a discipline on governments to make integrated decisions around infrastructure and land use, and the timely provision of infrastructure.

Leading the world 

For seven years running Australia’s largest property companies have led the world in environmental, social and governance performance on sustainability.

GRESB, the global real estate sustainability benchmark, assessed 850 real estate companies and funds around the world, representing more than 77,000 properties and $4.6 trillion in global assets under management.

The score for Australia and New Zealand has consistently beaten their global peers – but the rest of the world is beginning to catch up.

That’s why Australia’s property industry has called for measures to improve energy efficiency and encourage distributed energy within the built environment. It would also add to any whole-of-economy response to the need for greenhouse gas emissions abatement. 

In order to achieve this, five key policies are needed: 

  • An ambitious national plan towards net zero emissions buildings by 2050 with staged targets for emissions and energy that will help Australia meet our obligations under the Paris Agreement
  • Reforms to our energy market to support and incentivise the broader uptake of cost effective energy efficiency and distributed energy such as rooftop solar
  • Strengthened and harmonised white certificate schemes across Australia with a trajectory towards a single national scheme, enabling building owners to trade their demonstrated reductions in energy consumption
  • Targeted incentives for buildings that invest in energy efficiency and clean energy such as accelerated depreciation, planning incentives, stamp duty concessions and differential rates
  • Modernisation of the National Construction Code with higher energy efficiency standards and a trajectory for future increases.

Making taxes fairer

A more efficient tax system will make housing more affordable, create jobs and provide a more reliable revenue base for governments.

Property is highly taxed and subject to some of the country’s worst taxes such as stamp duty.  Excess taxation makes homes less affordable and adds to the cost of doing business.

Stamp duties, land taxes, GST and large development levies can make up as much as 26 per cent of the total cost of a finished house, and up to 21 per cent of the total cost of a finished apartment.

A fairer and more efficient tax system can be achieved by:

  1. Reducing stamp duty – which is recognised as one of the economy’s most inefficient taxes
  2. Reshaping land tax to make it fairer by having a single flat rate land tax structure for all existing land tax payers
  3. Shifting away from ad-hoc and inequitable infrastructure taxes baked into the cost of housing
  4. Maintaining negative gearing and make a small change to the CGT discount, reducing it to40 percent
  5. Avoiding value capture models that simply introduce new property taxes
  6. Improving Australia’s ability to capture international investment by removing excessive taxes on foreign capital

We understand what a good home or a good office or a good commercial space means to the people who live or work there, both the physical aspects and the sense of community and connection.

As an industry, we set the foundation for safe, , walkable  and connected communities. We think about open space, amenity, bike lanes, schools, public transport, distance from work.

Australia’s property industry is not only proud to create great communities – we give back to them and understand the need for foster and support people.

Better planning frameworks mean more homes can be delivered faster and more affordably.

Good planning also creates stronger cities and regions, more jobs and robust economic growth.

Effective planning systems across Australia can be achieved by:  

  • Making planning rules in each state and territory simpler, consistent and efficient – and backed by accountability
  • Introducing more ‘code assessment’ to see approvals fast-tracked
  • Aligning land use plans with state and territory infrastructure strategies
  • Enhancing the use of independent development assessment to take the politics out of planning  
  • Streamlining the number of local councils in urban centres
  • Introducing effective community engagement when local planning schemes are formulated and eliminating third party appeals to approved development applications
  • Mandating local housing development and employment targets in the strategic plans for our cities
  • Mandating accountability, performance targets and reporting for local government  
  • Requiring all states and territories to introduce and maintain a ‘performance-based’ culture in local planning systems.

The property industry not only creates new communities, it also provides the resources to underpin government services right around the country.

Every year the industry contributes $87.9 billion in taxes to federal, state, territory and local governments. That’s 18.2 percent of all the taxes paid across the country.

That’s money supporting community services and infrastructure. Governments – and the community – rely on a healthy property industry to underpin their programs. Together, we’re providing for communities.

The property industry is proud to support the work of the Property Industry Foundation (PIF), an industry charity dedicated to making a tangible difference to the serious and persistent problem of youth homelessness.

Companies and workers across the property industry provide both hands-on time and financial support for a wide-range of projects that include building PIF Houses around the country for young homeless people as well as supporting charity-managed initiatives focused on education, employment and well-being.

The Foundation’s goal is to build 125 bedrooms in five years. In 2017 two new PIF Houses were opened and two more buildings are in the pipeline for 2018.

You can find out more about the Foundation’s important work at

Improving diversity is a key priority across the property industry. The industry is committed to driving greater gender equality and increasing the number of women in leadership roles. 

A suite of important initiatives is being implemented across the industry to achieve lasting change, from closing the gender pay gap to encouraging more young women to pursue a career in property.

They include:

Property Male Champions of Change

Convened by Reserve Bank Board Member Carol Schwartz AM, it brings together senior leaders across the industry’s development and construction, investment, funds management and agency sectors to take action to improve gender equality in the industry.

Diversity training portal

An online repository of research, reports and learnings to help companies promote gender diversity. Much of the material on the diversity portal has been generated through the Property Male Champions for Change.

The Panel Pledge

The Panel Pledge is a commitment made by any speaker requested to participate in a panel or forum, to ask the organiser about the gender balance of the program and highlight their commitment to diversity. It involves actively encouraging women voices in the property industry and persevering to achieve change.

500 Women in Property

500 Women in Property is a personal commitment from Property Council members to champion a female colleague through an industry sponsorship program delivering them further networking and professional development opportunities.

Girls in Property

Girls in Property Week was a pilot program run in 2017, endorsed by the NSW Department of Education, to raise awareness and encourage greater female participation in the property industry, introduce the career options available in the industry to the participants and help high school aged girls make informed choices about their future career. The aim is to expand the program in 2018.

We are Australia’s biggest employer and largest industry.

We are a national industry that creates hundreds of different types of jobs and involves every type of building from offices to shops to houses to apartment buildings to retirement villages to hotels, industrial parks, hospitals, day care centres, schools, universities, stadiums and other community facilities.

Most importantly we do this work together. We do it in partnership with individuals, with families and with communities – creating for generations.