Aus­tralia shifts to­ward pub­lic trans­port boost un­der Turn­bull

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

SYN­DEY: Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull's gov­ern­ment wants to boost fund­ing for road and rail pub­lic trans­port in­fra­struc­ture on the fringes of Aus­tralia's ma­jor cities as a lure for hous­ing-devel­op­ment projects. "Land prices in the outer sub­urbs of Syd­ney or Mel­bourne are suf­fi­ciently high and have ac­cel­er­ated enough over re­cent years to be able to sup­port fund­ing of ma­jor trans­port in­fra­struc­ture projects," As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Cities An­gus Tay­lor said in a Sky Tele­vi­sion in­ter­view Sun­day. "If we're to make ma­jor in­vest­ments in trans­port in­fra­struc­ture, it's right and proper that we can have an ex­pec­ta­tion that there are ma­jor new hous­ing de­vel­op­ments" in those ar­eas, he said. Surg­ing home prices have pushed more Aus­tralian fam­i­lies to the fringes of sprawl­ing cities like Syd­ney and Mel­bourne, where pub­lic trans­port is of­ten sub­stan­dard and roads fre­quently grid­locked. Turn­bull, some­times seen on trains while trav­el­ing to en­gage­ments, is sig­nal­ing a move away from the in­fras­truc­ture­fund­ing poli­cies of pre­de­ces­sor Tony Ab­bott, who ruled out fed­eral funds for ur­ban com­muter rail projects, say­ing they were the re­spon­si­bil­ity of state gov­ern­ments.

Turn­bull's Lib­eral-Na­tional coali­tion gov­ern­ment is due to re­lease its an­nual bud­get on May 3 be­fore hold­ing an elec­tion that Turn­bull has said is "highly likely" to be July 2. Hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity is loom­ing as a ma­jor bat­tle­ground at the elec­tion, with the op­po­si­tion La­bor party ar­gu­ing tax perks for land­lords have made buy­ing a home an unattain­able dream for many younger Aus­tralians. Syd­ney home val­ues have climbed about 70 per­cent since the end of 2007, while in Mel­bourne they have risen about 50 per­cent, data from the sta­tis­tics bureau show. About 1.2 mil­lion Aus­tralians use so-called neg­a­tive gear­ing, where they re­duce their tax bill by de­duct­ing the costs of own­ing a rental prop­erty, in­clud­ing mort­gage in­ter­est pay­ments, from their tax­able in­come.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.