The 2012–13 State Budget has highlighted a missed opportunity to reposition Tasmania through much needed micro economic reform and ensuring the economic settings are right for the future prosperity of the State.
Tasmanian Executive of the Property Council Australia, Mary Massina, said nowhere in the budget is there a commitment to funding micro economic reform in the areas of planning, urban productivity, local government, taxation or water and sewerage.
“In tough times, micro economic reform becomes even more imperative to driving investment, recalibrating the message to the market and demonstrating that our State is pulling its weight,” Ms Massina said.
“Rather than ensuring we can increase capacity and efficiency, the budget points to the continuation of bad practices, which certainly have not shown to have future-proofed our State and our economy.
“Furthermore, it does not provide a vision that gives people any hope or confidence in the future.”
Ms Massina said getting state taxation regime right is incredibly important to getting the settings right for the future. All politicians have recognised this, yet today the Government has still chosen to turn its back on reform and put its hands into every Tasmanian’s pocket.
“The increase in stamp duty by up to 12.5 per cent means that ordinary Tasmanians are being penalised for working hard and diversifying their investments or simply trying to buy a house.”
“As the largest private sector industry in the State, the property industry has strongly advocated for planning reform as a way of addressing the blockages in the system that make it hard for people to build a garage and complete their home renovations, let alone build a new and exciting retail outlet or hotel.
“Yet, this Government appears to have moved away from planning being their number one priority as there is no new funding or flagging of new reforms in the planning space.
“Numerous studies have shown that urban productivity is incredibly important not only for economic activity, but also for liveability. People want to know that they will have access to reliable public transport and childcare places close to work and home. All of this is only possible and efficiently provided through strategic planning for our cities.
“Nowhere in the budget does the Government show that it acknowledges the importance of urban planning and its direct connection to increasing capacity and productivity.
“Local government reform has been embraced by the Tasmanian community and there are a number of local government and private sector reports that point to savings that can be achieved through reform.
“The easiest way to test these conclusions is to fund the Local Government Board to investigate local government reform. Yet the Government has chosen to ignore this in the budget.”
“This is a missed opportunity and for the biggest private sector industry in Tasmania, the property industry, the budget provides no vision and will not make Tasmania work”, Ms Massina said.
For further information: Mary Massina 0408 594 312