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Government needs to fix housing, planning: Property Council

By Staff Reporter
31 March 2017 | 9 minute read
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The Property Council of Australia has praised the NSW government for a job well done two years after it was re-elected, but warns there is still much to be done in the next two years.

The Property Council commended the government for strong economic growth, infrastructure investment and a renewed focus on regional areas. But it was critical about the state’s housing affordability issues and poor planning systems.

Property Council NSW executive director Jane Fitzgerald said many issues continue to be a drag on growth and progress.

“We have a new premier, new ministers and the opportunity to make the next two years really count,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“We now need the government to deliver on facilitating the supply of new housing, reduce its reliance on property taxes and transform the nation’s worst planning system into its best.”

Ms Fitzgerald also outlined five issues Gladys Berejiklian’s government needs to prioritise in the next six months. 

1. Scrap the surcharges on land tax and stamp duty on companies building to provide NSW with the housing it “desperately” requires. 

2. Revise the thresholds for stamp duty concessions that are currently available to first home buyers. 

3. Update archaic stamp duty tax brackets.

4. Extend ‘code assessment’ to take in apartments, including high-rise and mixed-use developments.

5. Boost funding to improve infrastructure such as sewage, water and electricity.

Ms Fitzgerald said it is understandable that the premier wants to mark ‘half time’ by drawing attention to her government’s achievements.

“But she and her team need to have a strong second half to make sure the people of NSW are the winners,” she said.

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