Infrastructure and housing focus in WA Budget welcomed
but opportunity missed to boost foreign investment
The 2018/19 WA Budget includes a welcome boost to
infrastructure funding and planning for infill housing but an opportunity was
missed to attract much needed foreign investment with the increase in the
proposed foreign stamp duty surcharge.
“The Property Council welcomes the commitments in the Budget
to fund the METRONET precincts plan in Perth and the associated METRONET
housing package. This is important for the station precincts to be
established and attract private investment.
“Linking the government’s public housing investment plan
with METRONET is a smart move. This answers questions from industry about
how some of the more marginal station precincts can be established with a
diversity of housing options.
“The funding commitment to establish Infrastructure WA is
also welcomed. Infrastructure WA is urgently needed to guide WA’s $6.2
billion infrastructure program.
“The $233 million funding commitment for the Bunbury Outer
Ring Road will ease congestion and enable growth in the greater Bunbury region
to be properly planned, and establish Bunbury as WA’s second capital city.
“It was also pleasing that the WA Government kept its
commitment to not increase land taxes and stamp duty for local buyers.
This was important to maintain confidence in WA’s property markets, which are
showing signs of emerging from a long slump.
“However the Government missed an opportunity in the Budget
to incentivise the market recovery.
“WA has the lowest proportion of foreign investment in
residential property in Australia and the opportunity was missed to attract
more foreign investment by holding off on the increase in the stamp duty
surcharge for foreigners to 7% in the Budget.
“The Budget also missed an opportunity to incentivise
right-sizing housing choices for seniors through targeted stamp duty relief.
“Overall this is a steady budget with a strong
infrastructure focus to encourage private investment in the METRONET precincts
plan in Perth and key regional centres. This is under-pinned by a welcome
commitment to reduce the Budget deficit and begin the process to bring down
“Central to the Budget’s success in achieving the bold
infrastructure objectives will be a further commitment to progress with WA’s
asset sale program, including the sale of Landgate, the TAB which are
identified in the Budget”, said Mr Iacomella.