The Property Council congratulates the Infrastructure Charges Taskforce on the completion of their final report but warns a failure by the State Government to get the level of charges right would only serve to strangle Queensland’s property industry for a further three years.
Property Council of Australia Queensland Division Executive Director Kathy Mac Dermott said the Taskforce had taken the issue as far as they could and it was now up to the Queensland Government to deliver the reform needed to restore Queensland’s competitiveness and rebuild investor confidence.
“This reform process has come a long way, but we are now getting to the pointy end where the risk of getting it wrong must be highlighted.
“The Taskforce has provided a range of charges for residential, commercial, industrial, retail and other property types. The solution can be found in these ranges, but very much at the lower end.
“We have already lost our competitiveness with other states because these charges have skyrocketed in recent years. This in turn has led to a crisis of investor confidence.
“Locking in the current exorbitant level of charges - which are reflected in the upper end of the spectrum identified by the taskforce - for a further three years, would be a critical error that will only serve to cement Queensland’s reputation as an undesirable investment destination.
“Queensland is no longer seen as a solid destination for property investment, and the result is fewer jobs as investors make a beeline for other jurisdictions like Victoria.
“This is clearly demonstrated in interstate migration figures - more Queenslanders are moving to Victoria than Victorians moving to Queensland. These people are following a booming property sector and the jobs which it provides.
“Contrast this with over 11,000 construction jobs lost in Queensland in 2010 and you get a sense of the hole we have dug ourselves.
“The property industry is Queensland’s engine room. It is the single largest private sector contributor to the Queensland economy providing over 300,000 jobs and $3.4 billion to State Government coffers – that’s 35 percent of state taxation revenue.
“This engine is stalling and it is imperative that we get it running at full capacity again. Meaningful reform to infrastructure charges is a critical pillar in achieving this.”
“We congratulate the Government on their commitment to reforming infrastructure charges, an issue which has been heavily debated for some years. We look forward to working closely with the Deputy Premier as he considers the Government’s response.
Click here to download the final report of the Infrastructure Charges Taskforce
Kathy Mac Dermott, Property Council of Australia Queensland Executive Director
0427 243 986 firstname.lastname@example.org