The Block might help with reforms our state’s property sector needs

Sydney, Sydney, Sydney, Melbourne, Melbourne, Sydney, Melbourne, Melbourne, Melbourne, Melbourne. That’s the destination pattern for renovation TV show, The Block, dating back to 2003.

One begins to feel like it’s a little eastern seaboard-centric, a little dismissive of the six other jurisdictions across the country. The 2015 season is locked in, but has a destination been selected for 2016?

If the answer is no, we need to shine a light on Adelaide, highlight our great potential and appeal, and make the case for this successful TV show to shift its geographic and financial focus.

South Australia boasts an incredibly appealing lifestyle — we have world-class wine regions based only 30 minutes from the CBD, some of the country’s best eateries and without doubt Australia’s greatest sporting venue.

We have beautiful warehouses in the historic city of Port Adelaide, magnificent heritage buildings punctuating a CBD growing in confidence and vibrancy and nearby cosmopolitan suburbs of Norwood, Parkside, Unley, Mile End, Brompton and Prospect.

We also have beaches only a dozen kilometres out of the city, a growing international airport located 6km from our centre and a state-of-the-art medical research institute on the River Torrens.

Wildlife parks abound only 10km from town, we are uniquely spoiled with three golf courses surrounding the iconic Adelaide Oval, and our city laneways now rival Melbourne’s.

Millions of Australians tune in to The Block and watch the ups and downs of tightly scheduled renovations at a time when the trend in this state is much the same. This TV show in many ways reflects what is taking place across the residential arm of this industry.

But stamp duty will do that — it encourages people to renovate rather than buy and sell.

You never know, this renovation TV show and its broad consumer appeal and audience reach might just help with the reforms that our state’s property sector needs.

Sure, we might not boast the country’s strongest house price variations. Over the past 12 months Adelaide’s increase was 3.9 per cent, compared to Sydney’s 14.3 per cent, Perth’s 8.9 per cent and Melbourne’s 8.6 per cent.

But I’d like to think that the TV show’s producers aren’t focused solely on highest possible house prices and the bottom line — in fact, this season’s profit margin for two teams was only $10,000, and $40,000 for another. There’s hope yet.

And let’s not forget that South Australians have enjoyed much success on The Block over the years: Alisa and Lysandra, Phil and Amity — these days they’re household names.

It’s time the show’s producers looked beyond the borders of Sydney and Melbourne — there’s a place called Adelaide and we want you here.

As an industry, the property and construction sector wants to say goodbye to business as usual — and we’d encourage The Block to do the same.

The Property Council of Australia (SA Division) has a community petition, which you can find here.

Daniel Gannon is the SA Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia

This piece was first published in The Adelaide Advertiser