Property Australia

How property can propel Queensland’s economic recovery

PROPERTY AUSTRALIA September 8, 2020

Queenslanders go to the polls on 31 October. As the state’s political leaders plan for the post-COVID economic recovery, the Property Council asks: Can we afford to miss the opportunity?


  Three key takeaways:

  • A 5.9% contraction in Queensland’s economy was recorded for the June quarter
  • In the lead-up to the state election, the Property Council has launched an ambitious policy platform to stimulate private investment and the state’s economic recovery
  • “We’ve always been one of the world’s great tourism destinations. Now, we need to be the world’s best destination for private investment,” says Property Council Queensland president Bruce Harper.


The scale of Queensland’s challenge was captured in the June quarter GDP figures which showed a 5.9 per cent contraction in the state’s economy. Queensland also recorded the largest decline of all states in private fixed capital spending, which fell by 7.6 per cent.

The Property Council’s Queensland president, Bruce Harper, says Queensland must take some bold steps to unlock the large-scale private investment needed to set the state on a strong trajectory for recovery.

“There’s only so much the government can do on its own balance sheet. We really need to unleash private sector investment to get our economic engines firing again,” Harper says.

“We’re talking about game-changing investments which drive employment in new projects and new industries and create new opportunities for Queenslanders. It’s the type of investment that can go anywhere in the world, but only lands where the economic and policy settings are most attractive.”

Harper says Queensland should be setting itself up to seize first mover advantage.

“There will be an economic recovery, but we don’t want to sit around waiting for it. We need to be ready to move first on the great ideas and big opportunities that have previously been left in the ‘too hard’ basket.”

The Property Council’s Queensland election priorities include:

  • Build-to-rent: Establish build-to-rent as a new asset class, attracting large-scale institutional investment, stimulating construction and providing people who rent with better quality housing options
  • Catalyst infrastructure funding: Increase the level of funding available through catalyst infrastructure programs to unlock new growth fronts and support building and construction jobs
  • Revitalising Brisbane’s CBD: Support a campaign to encourage workers, students and visitors back into the Brisbane CBD
  • SEQ City Deal: Prioritise the finalisation of the South-East Queensland City Deal
  • Remove and review taxes: Remove uncompetitive, discriminatory taxes that act as a barrier to foreign investment; Put Queensland on the map as Australia’s most attractive place to invest and restore its competitive advantages by cutting tax rates and reviewing property taxes
  • Land supply: Unlock surplus Government land to create jobs, stimulate the economy and deliver additional government revenue; Increase land supply in high growth areas to boost housing affordability, attract investment and create jobs
  • Industrial opportunities: Capitalise on the shift to ‘on-shore’ manufacturing by attracting new investment into Queensland’s industrial sector
  • Population policy: Launch a population policy and relocation campaign focused on Queensland’s liveability and economic growth of metropolitan and regional cities
  • Market-led proposals: Unlock private sector capital through a faster and more efficient Market-Led Proposals (MLP) framework
  • Game-changing projects: Bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Urban renewal: Introduce a fair strata termination threshold to unlock opportunities for urban renewal; Invest in new infrastructure through an asset recycling program; Co-invest with the private sector in delivery of vibrant, innovative precincts to capitalise on major transport infrastructure
  • Reduce red and green tape: Accelerate green and red tape reduction to unlock investment and jobs in the property industry
  • Social and affordable housing and infrastructure: Triple the social housing target to 15,000 and provide 38,000 new affordable dwellings over the next 10 years; Partner with the private sector to deliver a new round of social infrastructure
  • Stamp duty: Provide off-the-plan stamp duty concessions to all purchasers.

The Property Council’s Queensland executive director, Chris Mountford, says the policy platform has already generated significant community and media interest.

“Whether it’s our plan to boost investment in social and affordable housing, which we jointly announced with the Queensland Council of Social Service, getting people back to work in the Brisbane CBD, or driving investment in build-to-rent, Queenslanders have shown they are up for some new ideas and fresh thinking to get our state going again.

“We’ve engaged all of the parties on our platform, and will continue to be active in the media and online in showcasing our plan for a brighter economic future, and asking all Queenslanders the question: can we afford to miss the opportunity?”

Read more about the Property Council’s Queensland 2020 Election Priorities.