Three priorities for new NSW Premier
01 February 2017
Property Council: The new NSW Premier Gladys
Berejiklian must tackle three priorities – housing affordability,
economic growth and infrastructure delivery – says the Property
Council’s executive director Jane Fitzgerald.
Berejiklian (pictured) has been unanimously elected leader of the NSW Liberal Party following a party room meeting on Monday morning, and will be sworn in as the state's 45th Premier.
Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet was elected deputy Liberal leader and is tipped to take on the role of Treasurer in a forthcoming ministerial reshuffle.
Speaking at a press conference after her election, Berejiklian declared housing affordability the “biggest issue” people have across the state. Boosting housing supply was "the best way to address housing affordability”, she said, adding that she would be “open-minded” when seeking the advice of “people outside the government, outside the bureaucracy, outside elected officials to support us in that”.As a former transport and infrastructure minister, Berejiklian has experience working with the property sector, and her appointment has been welcomed by the Property Council of Australia.
“Three key priorities must be top of the new government’s ‘to do’ list: addressing housing affordability, boosting economic growth, and locking in infrastructure delivery,” says Property Council NSW executive director Jane Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald says the NSW economy is strong, and the local property industry is building more homes than anywhere else in Australia.
Industry confidence is buoyant, with the latest ANZ/Property Council Survey, released two weeks ago, finding industry sentiment in NSW leads the nation at 149 index points, up from 142 last quarter.
But Fitzgerald cautions that “residential sentiment is softening” and the new Premier must focus on “turbo-charging supply”.
“We need at least 725,000 houses by 2036 and we won’t reach this figure unless we unlock more land and reform the planning system,” she says.
The Property Council wants to see code assessments extended and bottlenecks in the planning system removed to ensure more homes can be built quicker, Fitzgerald adds.
“The foreign investment tax must also be reformed – as it stands, it is a tax on housing supply and will push up prices further as it starts to bite. The new Premier should make an immediate contribution to improving affordability by confining the tax to final purchasers, not home suppliers.”
Fitzgerald says Berejiklian has a strong background in economic management which “bodes well”.
“With record levels of stamp duty revenue being generated and the state well in the black, a stamp duty cut should be given serious consideration,” Fitzgerald says.
“Stamp duty currently adds about $40,000 to the price of a Sydney home, worsening the housing affordability crisis and dampening economic growth.”
Speaking at his press conference, Baird said infrastructure was the “hallmark” of his government, with the $9.6 billion Sydney Metro rail, the $16.8 billion Westconnex road project and the $2.1 billion light rail among those underway.
Fitzgerald says the Baird-led a government focused on tackling challenging reforms and delivering much needed investment in infrastructure. She cites the “record breaking investment” as a result of asset recycling, and a transport system which will “transform and support a growing Sydney” among his greatest achievements.
The property industry looks forward to working with the Berejiklian Government to “build a stronger NSW” Fitzgerald says, and to ensure a “pipeline of infrastructure meets the needs of our growing population and provides the homes, jobs and opportunities we need in the 21st century.”
Source: Property Council - www.propertycouncil.com.au
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