Property Council releases Victorian Pre-Budget Submission 2011-12

Published:
28 Apr 2011
Author:
Property Council

The Property Council of Australia, Victoria Division, has released its 2011-12 Pre-Budget Submission focusing on the following four key areas:

  • Taxation Reform
  • Planning and Infrastructure
  • Sustainability
  • Housing Affordability

 

 

 

TAXATION REFORM

The Property Council has called for a greater strategic direction from the Victorian Government in its 2011-12 Pre-Budget Submission. The Property Council recognises that strong economic management is important to Victoria’s ongoing success.

The Property Council’s Victorian Executive Director, Jennifer Cunich, commented today that, “as property taxes account for around 37% of Victoria’s revenue, a strong property sector is central to Victoria’s overall economic performance.”

“The Property Council supports economic growth through efficient, equitable and sustainable funding sources. We encourage the Victorian Government to consider targeted government funding on items which we have shown through independent research to improve economic growth and the welfare of Victorians.”

The Property Council’s previous advocacy achieved significant land tax reform; the current top rate of land tax rate 2.25% was reduced from the previous 5% rate. However, due to ‘tax bracket creep’ in recent years, the benefits to households, businesses and the Victorian economy have been eroded.

“The Property Council has consistently advocated for a reform to inefficient state taxes. The Victorian Government is in a position take on tax reform,” said Ms Cunich.

“In our engagement with the Coalition Government, the Property Council has maintained that Victoria’s land tax rate should be reduced to 1.5% and commercial stamp duty to 4% in the interim. These combined reforms will benefit Victoria’s economy and create jobs.”

This is based on comprehensive in-depth research the Property Council has undertaken and presented to the current Victorian Government,” outlined Ms Cunich.

“These taxes eat away at the super funds of millions of Australians because they target property trust investors,” Ms Cunich added.

 

PLANNING REFORM

The Property Council of Australia (Victoria Division) has released its 2011-12 Pre-Budget Submission, calling on the Victorian Government to commit to significant reforms in the areas of planning, taxation, housing affordability and sustainability.

The Property Council calls on the Victorian Government to establish a Victorian Planning Authority to take control of planning decisions across Victoria, cutting red tape and coordinating the myriad of state and local government agencies.

Property Council Executive Director, Jennifer Cunich commented that, “the Victorian Government has a responsibility to deliver a world class planning system through coordinated delivery for metropolitan, regional and rural planning decisions.”

“The establishment of a Victorian Planning Authority to coordinate all areas of planning – tax arrangements, public transport, infrastructure, and infill development – is the missing piece in the planning puzzle.”

“Victoria faces major issues over the next few years and it is hoped the Victorian Government will address these issues head on. Investing in infrastructure, creating a competitive tax environment and encouraging appropriate development in infill areas are all part of implementing a strategic plan for Melbourne and wider Victoria,” said Ms. Cunich.

The Property Council has also made its case for greater debt funding for infrastructure to the Victoria Government. The Victorian Government should be looking to increase its debt to pay for projects that will have a significantly beneficial impact for the community and Victorian economy.

Ms Cunich commented that, “We are calling on the Victorian Government to stimulate the economy through greater investment in infrastructure development so Victoria can maintain its competitive advantage as Australia’s most liveable state.”

“Victoria is in an enviable position to introduce policies that attract investment through competitive tax rates, facilitate the rapid delivery of infrastructure and improve liveability through effective planning strategies. We want Victoria on the front foot in these key policy areas,” said Ms Cunich.

To ensure that Victoria maintains its current level of growth and prosperity the Victorian Government needs to adopt a modern, efficient planning and application assessment system. We need to properly manage the growth of our cities and we need to bring the full suite of funding sources into play to modernise our ageing infrastructure and to service the new metropolis.

“The Property Council recognises that planning reform is high on the Victorian Government’s agenda and major planning reforms were outlined in the Coalition’s pre-election Plan for Planning policy document. Successful implementation of these commitments will be vital if Victoria is to have a planning regime that delivers planning outcomes quickly,” said Ms Cunich.

 

 SUSTAINABILITY

The Property Council calls on the Victorian Government to make sustainable development a key priority. This will assist Victoria to achieve its 20% emissions reduction target by 2020 in a cost effective way.

The Property Council argues that advancements in sustainable development require shared responsibilities between governments and industries.

“Existing buildings constitute 97% of the built environment, and buildings and their occupants contribute to around 23% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions,” outlined the Property Council’s Victorian Executive Director, Jennifer Cunich.

“Despite a growing commitment from the property industry to pursue environmentally sustainable initiatives, financial and structural barriers impede its ability to achieve this aim.

“On a positive note the built environment may offer significant abatement reductions with little new innovation, if ‘barriers’ are reduced, ” said Ms Cunich.

To realise this potential, the Property Council promotes policies that can transform buildings, precincts and cities to become more resilient and adaptive to deal with climate change, increasing resource demand and environmental degradation.

Key sustainability and climate change policies to support this task include:

  • advocate for an accelerated green depreciation and national white certificate schemes;
  • grants for building retrofits; 
  • gross feed in tariffs for the residential and commercial sectors; 
  • an elimination of the regulatory and market barriers for embedded energy solutions; and 
  • public - private partnership energy efficiency programs.

 

HOUSING AFFORDABILITYU

The Property Council in Victoria has called for significant actions to be taken by the Victorian Government as part its 2011-12 Pre-Budget Submission. Based on in-depth, evidence-based research, the Property Council has formed a number of key recommendations around housing affordability, accommodating population growth and the liveability of Victoria’s cities.

The Property Council’s report Delivering on Melbourne’s Population Plan shows that Melbourne has the capacity to deliver a sustainable, liveable city with enough dwellings to cater for increased population growth.

Victorian Executive Director of the Property Council, Jennifer Cunich, commented that, “one of the biggest hindrances to accommodating population growth in Victoria, is the incredible inconsistency in methods used by councils to set housing targets.

This in turn, has led to a trend of over performance and under performance by local governments, resulting in the absence of any clear means by which Melbourne will ever reach the targets it needs to reach.”

“We are facing a severe crisis in Melbourne, a housing affordability crisis that must be relieved as a matter of priority. Melbourne is not building enough dwellings to meet current population growth and this must change,” said Ms Cunich.

“These poor affordability outcomes are likely to deteriorate further with stronger housing demand brought on by population growth. The Victorian Government must address the need for density and more affordable dwellings coupled with lower development costs to alleviate this pressure” said Ms Cunich.

The Property Council has called for the Victorian Government to acknowledge and identify key strategic goals in order to address the implications population growth is and will continue to have on Victoria’s infrastructure.

“Like many, the Property Council is fundamentally concerned with protecting the advantage that Melbourne enjoys over other Australian cities with respect to housing affordability but, we have noted rapid escalation in land and housing prices in the growth areas which has resulted in the erosion of housing affordability in that sector of the market, “ said Ms Cunich.

The Property Council applauds the Victorian Government for its initiatives such as Fishermans Bend which will go some way to meeting the population and housing affordability challenges in Victoria. However the Victorian Government must ensure its initiatives are also wide reaching and have a positive impact across all of Victoria.

“Growth is important for Melbourne’s future prosperity but it must be managed effectively. Growth means more employment opportunities, more revenue to provide much needed community infrastructure, and more choices for all Victorians,” said Ms Cunich.

 

The Property Council has presented its 2011-12 Pre-Budget Submission to the Victorian Government.

For further information please contact Danni Addison on 03 9650 8300 or at daddison@propertyoz.com.au.