Supporting growth in uncertain times

Last week’s decision by the Reserve Bank to cut official interest rates to the lowest levels in a generation was a reminder that we continue to live in uncertain economic times.

While we all welcome rate cuts, we also know what prompted the rate cut was a deeper concern about how our economy is transitioning following the end of the mining boom.

Last week’s Budget was clear about the role our sector is playing in the economy: “Near-term economic growth is being supported by household spending, investment in housing and exports.”

We know this industry is vital to keep our country growing and in preparing it for future growth. Last year, our industry completed over 220,000 dwelling constructions and drove major commercial constructions across the country.

The best way to ensure that continues is to remove the needless costs and delays from the system. The decision by the NSW Government to reform state planning laws is a good step – as is the establishment of the Greater Sydney Commission and it was terrific to see 700 guests at our lunch with Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull last week.

The passage of the new Managed Investment Trust framework earlier this month is a vital step in ensuring all Australians have the same opportunity to invest in assets they could not otherwise own themselves.

Across Australia, our state and territory offices are working to deliver meaningful improvements to our planning systems. It is why we are strongly advocating for the use of national competition payments to the states and territories – as a means of driving reform and delivering the growth we need.

In recent weeks, some commentators have argued that investment in property is a bad thing. We know that’s wrong – and we will refute that idea wherever we hear or see it.

Investment is the key to growth, and we will play our part to spur growth by working with all levels of government to deliver the productivity improvements that our industry needs.