A productivity boost for our cities

It’s not an understatement to say, our cities are the biggest drivers of growth and collaboration in the country.

Our cities provide 80% of Australia’s GDP and our capital cities provide two-thirds of all employment and 80% of employment growth.

Getting our cities working better is vital to our national economy.

Yesterday, one of Australia’s most respected institutions, the Productivity Commission, released its first five-yearly review into our national productivity.

In addition to the vital health and education sectors, the review focused in on our cities and raised issues such as planning and land use, stamp duties, infrastructure planning and road user charges.

Our cities are, using the Productivity Commission’s words, showing ‘signs of growing strain’.

The Productivity Commission highlighted the big gap between our dynamic growing cities and the complex, slow moving regulatory framework that is trying to keep up with it.

The complexity of land use planning controls, the way new development is taxed and uncertain planning processes are acting as a drag on our economy.

In fact, if we can get our cities working better, the Productivity Commission estimates it will add $29 billion to Australia’s GDP. This means a big boost for jobs, a boost for household income and more infrastructure and less time stuck in traffic.

What it requires from all of us – business and policy makers alike – is a willingness to engage around the issues. That means not playing the ‘rule-in, rule-out’ game and being solution focused.

Last week, at The Property Congress, we reflected a great deal on the challenge of growing an industry, creating jobs and fulfilling our responsibilities to the community. This report is a continuation of that conversation.

The Property Congress was an outstanding success and I want to place on record my thanks to our speakers, sponsors, Program Advisory Committee and our outstanding staff team who made it our Best Congress Ever.

If you missed The Property Congress, the good news is that many of the presentations are being covered by the Property Council’s LinkedIn and Facebook pages (so please follow) – and it's only 11 months until our next Property Congress which will be held in Darwin in September 2018.