The property industry did the heavy lifting to pull our economy out of recession in 2020. Here’s how the Property Council helped shape government policy and regulation in one of the toughest years on record…
Last year, the Property Council made 300-plus submissions to federal, state and local governments – tackling everything from major policy responses to the COVID crisis to local planning issues. Here are just a handful of the advocacy highlights from our divisions around the country:
- HomeBuilder underpins recovery: Every $1 million spent in residential construction supports nine jobs. With the leadership of our Residential Development Council, the federal government put housing front-and-centre in 2020. The powerful HomeBuilder program, combined with state stimulus programs, boosted the economy, job creation and confidence.
- NSW fast-tracks planning: The Property Council worked hard to ensure worthy projects were accelerated through the NSW planning system. A fast-track assessment of state significant developments, DAs and rezonings was the result. The Property Council submitted 140 projects for assessment on behalf of members. More than 100 projects and planning proposals were fast-tracked as a result.
- Victoria secures stamp duty discounts: The Victorian Government announced a 50 per cent stamp duty discount on new homes and a 25 per cent stamp duty discount on existing homes in November 2020. The threshold value for these discounts was raised to $1 million. This followed extensive Property Council advocacy for stimulus to support Victoria’s largest economic contributor.
- Queensland unlocks catalytic infrastructure: The Property Council secured the allocation of funding towards catalytic infrastructure. Announced as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan, the Queensland Government’s $200 million Building Acceleration Fund provides an avenue for Property Council members to access zero interest loans for infrastructure.
- WA secures a City Deal for Perth: The Property Council worked closely with key decision makers in government, business and industry to secure a $1.5 billion tripartite Perth City Deal. The deal will transform Perth’s CBD, attracting population growth, jobs and new investment.
- ACT champions a strong and diverse economy: The Property Council successfully championed and secured a range of stimulus measures and assistance for members, including payroll tax and stamp duty waivers, fees and charges freezes. Rates abatement for landlords playing their role in supporting impacted tenants, LVC remission and a stay on rates increases for 12 months were all part of the package achieved through Property Council advocacy.
- Tasmania boosts housing supply: The Property Council has led the debate to increase housing supply, particularly in the Hobart CBD, where development opportunities are currently hampered by excessive regulation. In an unprecedented move, the state government commissioned consultation of the Property Council’s research document, Removing the regulatory handbrake: seven steps to fix Tasmania’s housing supply.
- Northern Territory negotiates on behalf of members: Working with the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, the Property Council successfully secured the Business Hardship Register and kept the Tenancy Code of Conduct off the legislative table. The Register offered eligible commercial landlords a range of incentives and initiatives including rent, rates and utilities reductions.
Numerous national policy wins – from ensuring property companies could access JobKeeper to minimising the impact of changes to the foreign investment rules – also delivered for members.
Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison says his team continues to provide feedback to policy makers “daily” on market conditions and to devise “practical policies to keep businesses going and foster a strong economic recovery”.
“This is our advocacy focus for as long as it takes,” Morrison says.