Home ownership and the adequate supply of a diverse range of housing options are vital components of the national economy and Australia’s social fabric
Building homes for families drives the national economy, creates jobs, stimulates other industries and helps to create safer communities.
A key policy objective for the next Federal Government must be to ensure affordable housing is available for all Australians.
This can be achieved through a nationally co-ordinated policy agenda to promote home ownership, and to reverse the current downward trend which has seen home ownership become out of reach for a growing share of the Australian population, particularly young people.
Removing or changing negative gearing rules is not the answer.
What are the problems?
For too many younger Australians, home ownership has become an unattainable dream.
A number of factors have led to a worsening of housing affordability. These include inefficient land release strategies, excessive development levies, taxes and charges, excessive planning and building requirements, and uncoordinated local and state government environmental regulations.
We need to remove the impediments to the building of more new homes if we are to enjoy the benefits of a strong building industry and a strong economy.
How can we fix them?
- Introducing payments to higher-performing local governments based on national competition policy principles. This would reward best practice performance and encourage improved delivery of housing-related services.
- Streamlined and simplified development approvals processes. These would be achieved through greater reliance on code-based assessment and identification of best practice development approvals processes in State, Territory and Local Governments.
- State and Local Governments developing and implementing individual, realistic and tailored Land Release Plans. These would set out timelines for the release of identified land for residential development and identify ways to overcome regulatory or other impediments to the process.
- Creating a genuine, comprehensive and enforceable uniform building code and regulatory system. The Council of Australian Governments must play a leading role in developing the Building Code of Australia into a nationally-consistent set of building requirements recognised as the central authority by all jurisdictions through legislative reform.
- Ensuring State and Territory Governments honour their commitment to abolish stamp duties on business conveyances of real property. This should be followed by a rigorous review of the impact of stamp duty on residential property.
- Annual publication of developer and infrastructure charges applied by all local governments in Australia. This would examine the incidence of such charges and the processes followed when they are imposed on ‘brownfields’ and “greenfields” developments.