Prop­erty im­post con­cerns

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Martin Rasini martin. rasini@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

THE Prop­erty Coun­cil has called for a mas­sive re­duc­tion in Queens­land gov­ern­ment im­posts on real es­tate.

The coun­cil said it could no longer be a cash cow if the state was to re­gain its com­pet­i­tive edge and in­vest­ment ap­peal.

The call comes in the peak prop­erty in­dus­try body’s 2011 Ad­vo­cacy Agenda, which said Queens­land’s rep­u­ta­tion as a prime prop­erty in­vest­ment lo­ca­tion was in tat­ters and fail­ure to act would see fur­ther de­cline.

‘‘ Our lead­ers have be­come fix­ated on re­duc­ing debt and Band-aid plan­ning so­lu­tions,’’ said the coun­cil’s Queens­land e x e c ut i v e d i r e c t o r Kathy MacDer­mott.

‘‘ As a re­sult, we are los­ing jobs, in­vest­ment and net in­ter­state mi­gra­tion."

‘‘ Peo­ple are not get­ting to live and work where they want and com­mu­ni­ties are suf­fer­ing.’’

Ms MacDer­mott called for long-term think­ing and plan-

Peo­ple are not get­ting to live and work where they want and com­mu­ni­ties are suf­fer­ing

ning, and for a shift in bur eau­cracy’s cul­ture away from block­ing de­vel­op­ment and to­wards cre­at­ing bet­ter com­mu­ni­ties.

She said prop­erty was the state’s largest em­ployer, de­liv­er­ing 312,000 jobs, but that the eco­nomic en­gine was stalling.

‘‘ The con­struc­tion in­dus­try lost 11,600 in 2010; hous­ing c o nt r i b ut e $ 3 . 4 b i l l i o n i n 2010-11, or 35 per cent of taxes, com­pared with min­ing in­dus­try roy­al­ties of $ 2.9 bil­lion.’’

Ms MacDer­mott said lo­cal gov­ern­ment costs were crip­pling the in­dus­try, while de­vel­op­ment as­sess­ment was ‘‘ an ab­surdly long and costly process’’.

The 2011 Ad­vo­cacy Agenda called for cuts in charges, i n c r e a s e d i n f r a s t r u c t u r e fund­ing, bet­ter plan­ning for growth, faster de­vel­op­ment as­sess­ment, and bolder lead­er­ship.

It pro­poses abo­li­tion of the 0.5 per cent land tax sur- charge and of stamp duty for off-the-plan sales; a cap on in­fra­struc­ture charges, land tax-free con­struc­tion pe­ri­ods, rates re­form, and eq­ui­table as­sess­ment charges.

It said Queens­land ‘‘ must over­come ir­ra­tional loathing of gov­ern­ment debt’’ and in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture where it was war­ranted and pro­poses the tri­alling of Growth Area Bonds as a fund­ing mech­a­nism.

It also called for plans for in­fra­struc­ture, in which the gov­ern­ment should an­nu­ally in­vest at least 7 per cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

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