The Property Council of Australia has welcomed COAG’s commitment to champion reforms that will boost the Australian economy.
Property Council of Australia CEO, Peter Verwer, said “COAG’s latest micro economic reform program recognises the direct link between economic productivity and smarter management of urban and regional growth.”
“The COAG agenda addresses issues critical to the capacity of the property investment industry to service community needs, including: streamlining environmental approvals, work already underway on drafting new environmental legislation, the delivery of major projects and much needed reform of development assessment processes,” said Mr Verwer.
“The dividends to be achieved from planning reform were persuasively reinforced by a recent Productivity Commission report, which recommended all states adopt a major projects approval process to prioritise large scale developments that deliver broad economic benefits.”
“The property industry also strongly supports today’s COAG agreement to examine construction costs,” said Mr Verwer.
“If we are to continue to consolidate our cities, the costs of delivering new projects in cities must be addressed.”
Development assessment reform is not a new agenda item for COAG. However, it remains unfinished business.
“In 2009, COAG committed to three development assessment reforms including the delivery of efficient development codes for residential, commercial and industrial developments,” said Mr Verwer.
“The commitment to planning and development assessment reform is a welcome one. In the spirit of joining up government and business, there is no more obvious group to aid greater collaboration than the multi-stakeholder Development Assessment Forum (DAF).”
“DAF was recently sidelined by the Federal Government and clearly needs to be reinstated as the key conduit for COAG work in this vital space.”
“It is also crucial that COAG commit to clear timeframes and deliverables to underpin its promises to the business community."
“Notably absent today was the Treasury Report promised in 2010 on improving market efficiency to deliver more affordable housing,” said Mr Verwer.
“We strongly support the commitment to undertake further work on cities. We believe a comprehensive action plan should be developed by the COAG Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure.”
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