The Property Council of Australia (ACT) today repeated calls which have been made for many years, that the ACT Government should maintain an adequate supply of commercial, industrial and residential land "on the shelf", planned and ready to be released quickly, to meet changing market conditions.
Property Council ACT Executive Director, Catherine Carter, said that while recent announcements of the release of additional residential blocks to meet high demand are welcome, attention needs to be given to the early release of commercial and industrial land as well, to meet urgent demand in those areas.
“In a highly dynamic market where there can be rapid and very sudden increases in demand, particularly following variations in Commonwealth Government expenditure in the Territory, the ACT Government - as the monopoly land supplier in the Territory -needs to be in much closer contact with the market than it has been in recent years,” Ms Carter said.
“In the rest of Australia, where raw land and land capable of being redeveloped is generally in private ownership, the private sector is generally able to rapidly gauge changes in market demand. Because this is not the situation in the ACT, the Government needs to engage in much closer liaison and dialogue with the private sector to ensure they are fully appraised of prevailing market conditions. “The release of the Property Council’s Office Market Report earlier this month (August 8), which shows that Canberra’s office market is one of the tightest in the country, has reinforced the urgent need for land release in the Territory,” Ms Carter said.
Canberra has the third lowest vacancy of all CBD markets surveyed for the Office Market Report, trailing Brisbane CBD by only 0.1 percentage points. All grades of space in the Canberra market are below 3 per cent vacancy and national vacancy benchmarks, and there is no A Grade office space available at all, in spite of significant stock additions to the market in the six months to July 2007. “The Property Council again calls on the ACT Government to make available, as a matter of urgency, additional sites in Civic and the town centres to meet expected ongoing demand.
“These sites need to cover a range of various sizes so that not only can substantial Commonwealth Government space requirements be met, but also to enable the growing private sector to be accommodated in quality smaller developments, which the private sector has traditionally required in Canberra. “The Property Council also encourages the ACT Government to work closely with the private sector going forward. Regular dialogue between Government and the private sector will assist Government to ensure that it is able, as a consequence, to be both reactive and flexible in response to market demand,” Ms Carter said.
For further information contact:
Catherine Carter, Executive Director, 02 6248 6902 or 0412 330 079