The State Budget will encourage investment and jobs growth in Victoria, according to the Property Council of Australia.
Victorian Executive Director Jennifer Cunich said land tax, infrastructure and planning announcements would support economic prosperity in the state.
The Property Council has welcomed the $823 million land tax relief package as a positive step in the land tax reform process.
“These changes show that tax reform is achievable, and that the Government is listening and acting,” Ms Cunich said.
“Accelerated cuts to the top marginal land tax rate will improve Victoria’s competitiveness and help win investment and jobs.
“The Property Council will keep working with the Government towards a long-term strategy for fixing land tax in Victoria.
“Middle-bracket relief is another step in the right direction.
“To compete fairly for our share of jobs and investment, Victoria’s top marginal rate must fall below the 3 per cent scheduled for 2007-2008.
“Improving Victoria’s competitiveness will help the state tap into billions of dollars worth of superannuation funds, drive economic prosperity and deliver jobs and security.
“It’s encouraging to see the state’s reliance on property tax decreasing to around 30 per cent.”
The Property Council welcomed $53 million worth of investment in Melbourne 2030
is a good strategic plan but it needs to get more runs on the board,” Ms Cunich said.
“The Property Council has been pushing the Government to invest in activity centres and demonstration projects, and this announcement will help turn vision into reality.”
The Property Council welcomed investment in the Dandenong Rail Line and other public transport infrastructure initiatives.
“Earmarking $660 million for transport infrastructure throws some weight behind Linking Melbourne
and Melbourne 2030
,” Ms Cunich said.
“If the Government borrowed to fund infrastructure projects, more projects could be delivered and in less time.
“Last year we showed the Government could borrow an extra billion dollars per year over the next five years for infrastructure without affecting the State’s credit rating.
“The Property Council has long been an advocate of infrastructure investment and creative infrastructure funding.”
Melbourne businesses have been slugged with yet another business tax – the $38 million per annum long-term car-park levy.
“The new car-parking tax is supposed to free up short-term car-spaces, relieve congestion or encourage public transport use – but we don’t see how it will deliver these outcomes,” Ms Cunich said.
“We understand similar experiments in Perth failed in these respects.
“Congestion is a city-wide issue and targeting CBD office workers and their employers isn’t the solution.”