Major reform to the tax system, greater infrastructure spending and continued planning reform will be the key priorities for the Property Council of Australia’s new NSW President, Mark Gray.
Mr Gray was elected NSW President of the peak property advocacy organisation today, replacing Ronin Partnerships’ Mr Rod Leaver whose three year tenure had ended.
Mr Gray is currently the Manager of NSW Projects for Leighton Properties a wholly owned subsidiary of Leighton Holdings Ltd, and has been involved in the architectural, property and development business for over 30 years.
Mr Gray said it was an exciting period for the property industry.
“We are just two years out from the next state election, a perfect time for the industry to ensure its policies are adopted by the Government and Opposition,” Mr Gray said.
“The property industry makes a massive contribution to the lives of ordinary Australians through jobs and investment returns.
“This contribution can be greatly enhanced through sensible government policy. But without a new approach to tax policy, this contribution will erode significantly.
“The first step should be to abolish NSW’s failed vendor duty experiment. This tax is actually costing the Government millions of dollars as buyers chose to invest interstate.
“NSW’s budget surplus is expected to top $1.4 billion by 2007 – why not honour the 1999 GST revenue deal and commit to the abolition of the inefficient stamp duty on commercial property transactions when State Treasurers meet next month to discuss tax reform.”
Mr Gray welcomed recent comments from the Treasurer that the next state budget would likely see greater investment in infrastructure.
“We congratulate the Government on its decision to abolish its debt elimination target – the next step is to use responsible debt funding to provide a much needed cash injection into the state’s ailing infrastructure.”
In addition, Mr Gray said the Property Council would continue to promote the essential policies of planning reform, economic development and sustainability as well as strengthening its professional development programs, events and services to members.
Mr Gray thanked Mr Leaver for the huge contribution he made during his tenure as NSW President.
“Rod’s tireless work and enthusiasm has allowed the Property Council to strengthen its advocacy muscle and win many crucial policy battles, while continuing to improve the products and services we provide to members,” Mr Gray said.
“His has been a mighty contribution, and the industry and the Property Council’s members are much better off because of it.”
The new NSW Division Council is as follows: President
Mark Gray Leighton Properties
Chris O’Donnell Investa Property Group
Immediate Past President
Rod Leaver Ronin Partnerships
Gavin Carrier Mirvac Projects Pty Ltd
John Elvy L J Hooker Commercial Group
Hamish Flett Arcadia Funds Management Limited
Bob Hawes Castlecrest Consultants
Angus Hislop Walter Construction Group Pty Limited
David Mann Urban Pacific Limited
Roger Miller Valad Funds Management Limited
Stephen Simpson Sinclair Knight Merz
Robert Sviderskas Norman Disney & Young
Robert Wilcher Baker & McKenzie
Todd Wynne-Parry Medina Serviced Apartments & Vibe Hotels A biography for Mark Gray
Director and State Manager, NSW LEIGHTON PROPERTIES PTY LTD President PROPERTY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA (NSW Division)
Mark Gray has over 30 years experience in the property industry, with expertise in architecture, planning, project management and development.
He joined Leighton Properties in 1987 and has been responsible for NSW developments since 1989. Leighton Properties is one of the five operating companies of Leighton Holdings Limited, Australia’s largest publicly listed construction and development company.
Mark was Project Director for the Sydney Casino from its inception in 1994 to handover and opening in 1998.
Most recently, Mark secured the largest commercial pre-lease executed in Australia, the 76,000m2 Westpac headquarters in the “KENS” project. He is responsible for the project’s delivery in 2006.
He is President of the NSW Division of the Property Council of Australia and a member of its NSW planning committee.
Mark Gray 0412 728 299 or 9925 6885
Ken Morrison 0412 233 715 or 02 9336 6906