The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the outcomes of today’s first COAG under new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.
“Today’s meeting has demonstrated a willingness by all governments to work together in the national interest,” CEO Peter Verwer said.
“The establishment of seven key policy working groups will help to drive governments towards greater regulatory reform and harmonisation.
“As we have a direct interest in almost all of those working groups, we look forward to working with Australia’s governments towards effective solutions,” he said.
Mr Verwer welcomed the proposed use of special purpose and incentive payments to reward reform.
“These types of payments have proven effective in encouraging state and territory administrations to tackle difficult reform initiatives,” he said.
“We would like to see such incentives extended to the local government sphere to drive institutional and procedural reform in that sector.”
The Property Council welcomed some of the specific initiatives announced in the COAG Communiqué.
“The intention to develop reporting mechanisms and a work plan for Infrastructure Australia shows the Government’s commitment to improving Australia’s cities,” Mr Verwer said.
“We also welcome COAG’s housing affordability initiatives, particularly the proposed $500 million Housing Affordability Fund, the commitment to streamlining development approval processes, and the plan to reduce infrastructure charges.
“Together with the possible release of Commonwealth, State, and Territory land for housing development, these will help to take many of the financial pressures off buying a new house.
“We are pleased to see that previous commitments to regulatory reform have been reinforced in today’s meeting – any moves to reduce regulation will always be supported.
“With nine Labor governments, now is the time to demonstrate that a national policy-making forum can rise above interstate rivalries to deliver effective solutions for Australia.
“We support Mr Rudd’s view of the COAG as a workhorse for the nation – now it needs to prove that it can carry the load,” Mr Verwer said.