If Canberra is to have a vibrant future then ACT and Commonwealth Government rhetoric has to be turned into reality, Property Council of Australia (ACT) President, Greg Lyons said today.
Mr Lyon's words were a call to action for the Government in delivering initiatives that would promote the growth of the ACT as a commercial hub and place to live.
"Because simply drawing lines on maps and producing glossy documents won't deliver it.
"The Government has to make the hard decisions and change policies and regulations that are driving business investment interstate. And they need to start now," he said.
The Property Council has released a detailed discussion paper, Initiatives for Canberra: Securing Canberra's Future
which sets out its action plan to grow the Territory's population to 500,000 by 2030. That growth is achievable if the ACT Government delivers on its promise to make Canberra Australia's most business-friendly city.
The Property Council calls on the ACT Government to adopt policies that will:
- turn planning visions into reality;
- encourage people to move to Canberra;
- make housing affordable;
- lead the way in eco-efficient buildings;
- provide for our future water needs by building a new dam;
- cut recurrent spending to match the demands of a city state;
- remove taxes on investment and employment;
- cut red tape;
- invest in the city centre;
- and encourage the redevelopment or renewal of ageing office buildings.
The paper is a direct response to Chief Minister Jon Stanhope's call for community discussion on structural inefficiencies that have not been addressed since the advent of self-government in 1989.
Property Council Executive Director Catherine Carter said that if the ACT is to grow up it has to shake off the old notion that government provided everything.
"The Government's job is to get the policy settings right so that Canberra becomes a great place to do business and an affordable place in which to live," she said.
"If it does that then the private sector will act as the engine of growth and do what the Commonwealth once did here: create jobs; maintain a world class infrastructure; deliver quality housing; and bring people to this city."
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Catherine Carter, Executive Director, 02 6248 6902 or 0412 330 079
Greg Lyons, President, 02 6230 7855 or 0439 338 883