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How property can help Australia become prosperous again

The Property Council’s election platform sets out seven steps to a better Australia, including helping people return to CBDs, unlocking housing supply and boosting affordable housing as well as making Australia a magnet for talent and capital.

According to the Property Council, our nation’s CBDs have the highest productivity output of anywhere in the country and have been major contributors to employment growth.

“The objective should be to transition our CBDs to their ‘new normal’ workplace settings within three months as opposed to taking six months or more,” the report said.

“We need our CBDs to bounce back to their former glory.”

The Property Council also want to see a return to skilled migration to try and entice back top talent to help fuel economic growth.

To address ongoing housing affordability issues, the Property Council suggests targeting additional supply in certain areas.

“Worryingly, growth corridor housing supply is at crisis levels in NSW and Queensland,” the report stated.

“To provide the homes Australians need and reduce the cost of creating them, we must sharply boost the productivity of state and local government planning and land supply, and avoid tax red herrings.”

With Australia’s population also ageing rapidly, the platform document suggests changes to the current pension system as well as building the right type of housing.

“Age-friendly communities, like retirement villages and land lease estates, are integral to supporting healthy ageing,” the report said.

The Property Council also wants the incoming Federal Government to put a priority on infrastructure projects that would help connect major urban areas along with encouraging environmentally friendly buildings.

“The pandemic has caused extreme dislocation in the way we live and work,” the report said.

“We can confidently say that Australia will remain a highly urbanised country where most citizens will continue to choose to live in our capital cities.

“We can use the Commonwealth’s infrastructure funding, project prioritisation and City Deal program to underpin the liveability and productivity of our cities.”

The Property Council is also calling for ways Australia can move to a more effective framework for managing the Federation and making the economy more productive.

“We can sustainably boost Australian living standards by adopting a powerful productivity agenda for the nation, including the potential to boost GDP by more than $29 million through more productive cities,” the report said.

“Over the past two years, governments have been forced to have an almost singular focus on managing pandemic impacts. 

“Australia must now look ahead to ways we can secure our long-term prosperity.”

Property Council Chief Executive Officer Ken Morrison said they were ready to work closely with the next Parliament to help achieve these outcomes.

“The Property Council team has engaged heavily with the Government and the Opposition throughout the pandemic and the parliamentary term, with our work stepping up again over recent months,” Mr Morrison explained.

“Policymakers on both sides of the aisle understand our agenda and the benefits it would bring to the nation.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.