Planning for the future

“We must build the infrastructure that makes Australia a more productive and efficient country today, and prepare for the needs of our population tomorrow.”

Sitting in the Shangri-La Hotel listening to Joe Hockey last Thursday morning, I couldn’t have agreed more.

In the next couple of weeks the Treasurer will hand down the latest Intergenerational Report, Treasury's forecast into the future.

It's a report the Treasurer describes as “a compact between the generations.”

One of the big lessons from the report will be that Australia is growing, and growing considerably. By 2060 Sydney and Melbourne are forecast to be cities of 8.5 million people, bigger than New York City is today. Brisbane and Perth will grow to be Sydney-sized cities of over 4 million.

We in the property industry know all about investing for the long term.

And we need our governments to have the same perspective. Now, more than ever, policy makers need to think beyond the electoral cycle to set the country up for that growth.

As Mr Hockey rightly pointed out: “The challenge going forward…is to maintain, and even raise, this standard of living over the next few decades.”

For that to be achieved we need bolder infrastructure investment, clearer growth plans, a modernised tax system and regulations at all three levels of government which are future focused.

Some of the people who will lead that charge were recognised last week in The Australian’s inaugural list of the 50 most powerful women in Australian business.

Congratulations to Mirvac’s Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, Grocon's Carolyn Viney (and Victorian President of the Property Council) and Carol Schwartz AM (a former Property Council National President) whose contributions have been so appropriately recognised.