- PCA is calling on the Government to protect Australians while also supporting economic recovery
- A key recommendation is restarting net overseas migration
- Other recommendations include removing red tape and committing to long-term infrastructure spending
Now the Property Council of Australia (PCA) has thrown down the gauntlet with their pre-budget submission, providing seven key recommendations for the Government to “protect Australians’ health while also accelerating the nation’s economic recovery.”
Among the key recommendations put forward by the PCA is restarting net overseas migration. According to the report, population growth is estimated to fall 0.2% in 2020/21 and 0.4% in 2021/22.
This is worrying considering that population growth is one of Australia’s biggest engines of economic growth.
In fact, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Governor, Philip Lowe observed in 2018 that “Australia’s faster population growth is one of the reasons our economy has experienced higher average growth than many other advanced economies.”
Chief Executive of the PCA, Ken Morrison has welcomed the rollout of vaccines in Australia, but says it seems likely Australia will still require enhanced border arrangements even after this.
“We now need to pivot towards a growth agenda. Australia has amassed the expertise and has the capacity to reignite the big economic engine of population growth while simultaneously protecting Australians.
“This means setting concrete plans to upsize border processing and quarantining arrangements so that more people can cross the international border.
“Australia has a unique opportunity to leverage our enviable reputation for pandemic management by targeting talent, business and export income. We can seize this through safely bringing forward the recommencement of migration.”
This includes (1) bringing Australians currently stranded overseas back home as a priority, (2) working with universities to allow international students to enter Australia in time for Semester 2 2021, and (3) ensure international migration from workers on skilled visas.
“This will have flow-on benefits to multiple high-value sectors in the economy such as agriculture, education, and health services which rely heavily on migration,” Mr Morrison concluded.
The report highlights that while smaller, shovel-ready infrastructure projects acted as short-term economic stimulus in 2020, it is important that the Government focus their attention on medium and long-term projects.
PCA calls on the Government to maintain a strong $100 billion commitment to infrastructure spending, particularly for major city projects that focus on economic growth.
Much like other property institutions, the PCA has highlighted the need for reductions in red tape. This includes reforming planning systems to best incentivise matching housing supply with demand to reduce the cost of housing, reviewing current tax settings to ensure greater incentivisation of the private sector to create affordable housing, and supporting the creation of a new pipeline of quality rental housing.
Head over to The Property Council of Australia’s Pre-Budget Submission 2021-22 to view their full recommendations.