The Property Council has welcomed the renewed focus from the federal government on ways to boost productivity through better collaboration with states and territories on micro-economic reform opportunities.
“Doing things better, across all levels of government, is essential to our future prosperity,” said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council.
“We have a sluggish economy but a growing population. We need to get much smarter about how we drive growth to support the standard of living and quality of life Australians have enjoyed, especially in our cities,” Mr Morrison said.
Our cities generate 80 per cent of our GDP, and 40 per cent of GDP comes from Melbourne and Sydney alone. They also provide two thirds of all employment. How they function economically and socially is critical to Australia’s future prosperity.
The Productivity Commission’s 2017 report ‘Shifting the Dial’ highlighted better functioning towns and cities as one of five priority areas for reform which could deliver a $29 billion increase in GDP in the long term.
Its recommendations covered public infrastructure, road funding and investment, planning and land use policies and access to housing.
“We need to boost housing construction to meet the needs of our growing population and support jobs in the construction industry and keep the economy going.
“What it needs now is a determined effort from all levels of government to put the wheels in motion.
“The Treasurer’s speech today, as well as the recent statements from the NSW and Victorian Treasurers seem to demonstrate there is appetite to do better.
“We’ve done it before, such as with the national competition policy and tax reforms of the 1990s, so it shouldn’t be beyond the grasp of our current generation of leaders.
“The millions of Australians who live and work in our major cities which are some of the fastest-growing in the developed world, will be looking to our governments to back the rhetoric with real action,” Mr Morrison said.