April message from Michael Tilt, CEO

Anyone who has worked in the retail property market knows there’s one person who leads the retail analysis field: Tony Dimasi. We were delighted when Tony joined forces with Macroplan five years ago, bringing his wealth of retail experience on board and expanding our planning reach.  Well, after 30 years’ as Australia’s leading retail analyst, Tony has decided to hand over the reins and retire.

Our new ‘Tony Dimasi’ is James Turnbull, an outstanding analyst in his own right.  In fact, James will already be well known to many of our clients as he’s been working alongside Tony in the retail space for some time as a Senior Manager of Retail.  We expect a smooth transition supported by our experienced retail team.

From the Macroplan job scene to the big national picture . . . it appears that Victoria has taken the title as the state with the biggest job growth. This employment boom has been attributed, in large part, to Victoria’s spectacular population growth, which is also set to remain above every other state until at least 2021.

Given Victoria’s  pre-eminent position on the new jobs front, it should come as no surprise that the latest research into Australia’s CBD office market shows that Melbourne, from a demand perspective, is a standout performer with the strongest quarterly absorption recorded.  The first quarter of 2017 has show a good start to the year for leasing markets nationally, with CBD vacancy rates down 1.0 percentage point to 11.4% across the country.  Melbourne’s rate was down to just 7.5%.  A good sign of business confidence.

In an attempt to improve employment access for Australians generally, Malcolm Turnbull has decided to crack down on the 457 visa program which provides two- and four-year temporary visas for foreign workers.  Over 200 eligible jobs have been axed from the scheme.  However, some of the main groups who use it, such as nurses and cooks, remain eligible.  At the end of last year, less than one percent of Australia’s 12 million workers held 457 visas.

One area of great business enthusiasm at the moment is autonomous vehicles, and Macroplan shares the excitement in this burgeoning field.  Our chairman, Brian Haratsis, will be one of the keynote speakers at the second Annual Future Vehicles World Conference to be held in North Sydney next week.  Local and international planners, technology researchers and user groups will be joined by industry representatives including Tesla, Holden/GM, Navya electric and automated cars, and Cohda Wireless, experts in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.

Finally, I’d like to make a last minute call for raffle prizes for the upcoming PIA Congress. As you know, we are partnering with the wonderful Orange Sky Laundry which provides homeless people with valuable cleaning services and social contact.   We’d love you to join us in making this event a huge success and giving a generous helping hand to those who need it most.


Michael Tilt