Property Council calls on Andrews Government to reignite the economic reform agenda and secure Victoria’s future prosperity

The Property Council of Australia today called for major economic reform to be put back on the agenda in this year’s State Budget to ensure Victoria is the best place to own or rent a home, have a business, and invest.

In releasing its 2022-23 pre-budget submission, Property Council Victorian Executive Director Danni Hunter said the upcoming State Budget is an opportunity for the Andrews Government to set a clear vision for Victoria, and to outline a plan that sees the 59 per cent of state revenue contributed by the property industry be invested into reinvigorating Victoria’s economy.

“The State Budget needs to be the start of a renewed conversation about economic reform in Victoria to ensure that the strength of the property industry can be harnessed for the state’s wider long-term economic benefit,” Ms Hunter said.

“Reform is difficult, but it is necessary. We know that there is already $7 billion worth of economic activity sitting on the table through a stalled planning reform package. Victoria can’t afford to turn its back on reform opportunities, and we must proactively seek out more.

“We want to see the reform agenda taken off the shelf, and expanded to supercharge our economy, revitalise our CBD, grow Victoria’s international student sector, unlock future residential and industrial land supply, and realise opportunities for regional Victoria.

“With the support of the property industry through tax revenue and rent relief, the Andrews Government put in place short term measures to mitigate the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 on Victorian businesses.

“Victoria is now ready and well positioned economically to develop a meaningful reform agenda and renew our economy to secure the state’s future prosperity.”

Ms Hunter said pre-pandemic, Victoria was on track to become Australia’s most populous state and as COVID-19 becomes normalised, the budget presented an opportunity to return to a growth mindset for Victoria’s economy. 

“Melbourne’s population saw a 1.2 per cent drop in residents as international students and city dwellers departed, declining by 60,500 people in a single year - more than any other Australian capital city,” Ms Hunter said. 

“A growth mindset is not about returning to 2019, it’s about taking advantage of the changes that have occurred and creating new opportunities to lock in future growth.

“This can mean different things to different people. For renters, growth can represent home ownership, for universities it could be the return of international students and for Melbourne’s CBD, growth is a revived vision for the economic hub of our state.

“But it all starts with an appetite to engage in the economic reform necessary to ensure that Victoria is the best place to live, do business in and invest. The property industry is the most significant industry in this state, and we remain ready and willing to work with the Government to implement existing recommendations and new reform agenda that secures Victoria’s future prosperity.”

Ms Hunter said the industry will be working closely with the State Government to realise and deliver the full recovery of Victoria’s economy.