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Tas Liberal Budget charts 'course for growth': property council

29 August, 2014

The Property Council has welcomed the cautious approach to savings and structural reform in the first Liberal budget Tasmania has seen in 16 years.

Property Council State President, Tim Johnstone, welcomed the budget as an encouraging sign for the Hodgman Government.

"Progressing key initiatives such as the Planning Reform Taskforce, Coordinator-General, and Infrastructure Tasmania promise to result in improved conditions for business in coming years," Johnstone said.

Reinvigorated construction sector

"Reducing red tape through a single, state-wide planning system will set the scene for a reinvigorated property and construction industry in Tasmania. 

"It's easy to commit to these things in the run up to an election, but seeing the money allocated to get them moving is very promising.

"We're also pleased that essential needs like housing and infrastructure haven't fallen victim to budget pressures, with an extra $17.2 million to deliver affordable housing as part of a $1.6 billion infrastructure spend.

"Unfortunately, the erosion of the First Home Builders Boost down to $10,000 will make Tasmania less competitive with similar schemes interstate," Johnstone said.

Property tax

Another concern is the weight of tax on the property sector, with property investors footing the bill for 33 per cent of state tax revenue.

"State coffers will continue to be filled with money from inefficient taxes like conveyance duty. We need to start a conversation about the role Tasmania plays in Federal tax reform to make sure our revenue base is efficient and sustainable.

"In addition, we need to see movement on local government reform. The state's 29 councils continue to raise rates without improving efficiency. This deserves a place on the Government's agenda," Johnstone concluded.

The Property Council is the leading advocate for Tasmania's $2.5 billion property and construction industry. The property and construction industry is the largest contributor to Tasmania's gross state product and creates 39,000 jobs.

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