Property Australia

A light at the end of the tunnel

Ken Morrison Ken Morrison July 27, 2021

With many members still affected by public health restrictions, this week has seen  improving news for our industry.  

Victorians and South Australians have both emerged from lockdown this morning, with a full restart to construction activity now allowed in South Australia. While it is likely that  lockdowns will be in place in Sydney for some time, the NSW Premier has said that construction will reopen at some level on 30 July, with a formal announcement expected soon. 

In distinctly positive news, the federal Opposition has decided to reverse its previous policy on negative gearing and capital gains tax. The Property Council has welcomed this decision as recognition that these policies would have hurt the economy, cost construction jobs and had little impact on housing affordability.  

This victory for common sense comes at the end of a sustained advocacy campaign by the Property Council and our allies, an almost decade-long effort involving deep research, strong media messaging when required and patient engagement across hundreds of hours of meetings. 

Our industry has done the heavy lifting to drive Australia’s economic recovery and we will be critical to the nation’s ability to bounce back from the recent outbreaks. To achieve this, we need policy settings that provide certainty and opportunity for growth. 

During 2020 and 2021 property owners are estimated to have provided more than $15 billion in support to tenants around the country. We must remain vigilant to any re-emergence of a damaging one-size-fits-all government-mandated approach to tenancy arrangements. Our members continue to work closely with their small business tenants and are playing their part in supporting struggling small tenants on an individual basis. 

There is currently a live public debate about whether existing government support measures need to be strengthened. This is an important discussion, but affected businesses should look closely at what is already on the table from various governments. 

The federal government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment is available for eligible individuals in states currently experiencing lockdowns (NSW, South Australia, and Victoria).  

The NSW Government is providing additional support for businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions through its JobSaver ProgramCOVID-19 business support grantsmicro business support grants, as well as land tax concessions and deferral of payroll tax for eligible businesses. 

Similarly, the Victorian Government is providing additional support to businesses affected by the current lockdown. And the South Australian Government is offering emergency business support grants to eligible SME businesses.  

Whether you’re avoiding, exiting or remaining in lockdown – the Property Council team is here to support you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if our team can help.