A week for words and actions

The essence of growth is change.

We can anticipate and prepare for change, or we can resist it, often with terrible consequences.

The Property Council likes to be ahead of change – because that’s the best way to help our industry.

When you are leading change, words and action go hand in hand. We have witnessed this in the last week.

Some 700 industry leaders met for The Property Congress last week. It was our best Congress yet – with plenty of discussion on growth, change and what it means for our cities and our industry. I left The Property Congress more positive about the opportunities before our industry – we are well placed in this highly competitive, disruptive world.

It was also a week for action.

For two years, we have put the case for City Deals. Our ground breaking work with KPMG has led this debate. Last week, it was heartening to see the federal and NSW governments sign a memorandum of understanding for a City Deal in Western Sydney – which should create the framework for tens of thousands of new jobs.

On Monday, Treasurer Scott Morrison took on housing affordability, using a policy approach we developed with Deloitte Access Economics on the use of incentive payments for the states to reform their planning systems. The work was led by Professor Ian Harper (who also chaired the government’s Competition Policy Review) and showed that unlocking our planning systems could generate $3 billion in economic uplift every year.

As this work highlighted, there is so much more we can do to reform planning and help ease the affordability problems. This reform is about faster approvals, clearer processes and taking unnecessary costs out of the various planning systems.

This is an important debate and we will continue to champion this idea with governments around the country.