Property Council Pre-budget submission 2018-19

The Property Council is committed to supporting a globally competitive Victoria that will provide jobs into the future. We recognise the urgent need to substantially increase the supply of housing thereby enhancing housing affordability for Victorians and retaining high standards of liveability in the State. A strong economic strategy delivered through the State Budget can ensure that these goals are met. Our key recommendations for the 2018-19 Victorian Budget are summarised below.

Keeping Victoria moving

• Investment in a freight strategy that includes confirmation of the (Western/Beveridge) Interstate Freight Terminal (W/BIFT), confirmation of the second port site in Melbourne and an integrated freight network to link with the Brisbane to Melbourne inland rail freight project
• Substantial funding commitment across the Forward Estimates for the construction of a rail link from Melbourne’s CBD to the airport and on to the growth areas north and west of the airport.
Planning for the future
• A dramatic improvement in the Victorian planning system through a digital revolution.
• Fully fund the 2-year Transform stage of Smart Planning with commencement on 1 July 2018 to ensure a seamless transition from the Reform stage.
Assisting Middle Ring suburbs
• Changes to zoning to address current impediments in the Neighbourhood and General Residential Zoned land and the Minimum Garden Area provisions that stifle innovation and suppress opportunities for higher densities in appropriate locations within ‘middle ring’ suburbs.
• A rolling community education program about the benefits of increased density at suitable locations in Melbourne’s ‘middle ring’, supported by transparent hypothecation of developer contributions to the benefits provided.
• Support for Councils in Melbourne’s ‘middle ring’ to facilitate increased density in their area, such as additional resources, secondment of experienced planners and other technical experts to expedite planning assessments, increased transport infrastructure and planning reforms.
• An Infrastructure Fund that could be accessed by those Councils in Melbourne’s ‘middle ring’ who demonstrate a willingness to encourage higher densities in their area.
• Introduce of a regime of incentives and penalties that ensure power and water utilities and referral authorities respond in a timely and effective way to the requirements for new housing projects to be delivered.
Keeping Victoria competitive
• Reduce the top rate of land tax from 2.25% to 2.0%
• Abolish the aggregation rule for land tax
• Base land tax valuations on three-year rolling averages
• Address tax issues to facilitate a build-to-rent asset class
• Abolish the foreign purchaser additional duty and land tax absentee owner surcharge
• Review of land transfer (‘stamp’) duties
Facilitating build-to-rent
• Address Victorian tax issues to facilitate the growth of a build-to-rent asset class
Removing impediments to investment
• Abolish the foreign purchased additional duty and land tax absentee surcharge
Working on Value Release
• A study or pilot program on value release / value capture to explore innovation in value release by both the Government and the property industry.

The full submission can be accessed below.