Putting the case for good policy

It was over a century ago that the philosopher Max Weber said “Politics is a strong and slow boring of hard boards. It takes both passion and perspective.”

It’s still true today. Delivering better policy for the industry is about consistently putting to government the case for good policy.

While the media is currently focused on the travails of our political leaders, in recent weeks we have been seeing progress on a range of policy fronts.

In Canberra, the Opposition has publicly flagged its interest in the Retirement Living Council’s proposal to help age pensioners ‘rightsize’ their home by limiting the impact of the pension assets test.

In NSW, local government reform moved a step closer with the state government releasing new boundaries so that the state can proceed with local government amalgamations.

In Queensland, a referendum for a fixed four year term was passed, with widespread support from community groups, including the Property Council.

In South Australia, the State Opposition released a well-considered plan to rejuvenate dilapidated building stock.

In Western Australia, we are seeing needed reform of the Infrastructure Reform Committee so that a 30-year infrastructure plan is delivered.

In Victoria, an agreement on the leasing of the Port of Melbourne will unleash significant asset recycling in Victoria. Support for leasing has been a long-term position of the Property Council.

In the ACT, our new executive director is putting the spotlight on a government decision giving trade unions the right of veto over government contracts as well as the Opposition’s plan to ‘rip up’ major infrastructure contracts.

As well, Tasmania has witnessed the passage of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme and the announcement of an Affordable Housing Strategy and Action Plan.

Yes, it is slow boring of hard boards. Many of these initiatives are not reported in newspapers, but they reflect our continual efforts to help our industry be strong, competitive and responsive to the needs of our national economy.

Finally, today marks the start of the Green Cities conference – and you will read more about it in next week’s issue.