February Message from Michael Tilt, CEO

House price affordability was the hot topic as we started the year and it continues to grab the headlines around the country.  The latest news is that the federal government plans to axe the National Housing Affordability Agreement in the May budget. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has vowed to address the housing affordability crisis, declaring it "the biggest issue people have across the state".  MacroPlan will continue to inform clients and industry colleagues on this hot topic as it evolves over the course of the year.

Infrastructure Australia, the nation's independent infrastructure advisor, has revealed an unprecedented $60 billion wishlist of 100 national priority projects with a recommendation that federal and state budgets commit funds for a 15-year plan to deliver them. The newly revised List features projects in urban centres and across the country that will improve connectivity and productivity. It now includes seven High Priority and 11 Priority Projects and the highest ever number of projects with approved business cases.

If you're interested in understanding more about the flow-on opportunities surrounding these priority projects, please get in touch with us today.

Meanwhile, the largest Gold Coast tourism project in decades is likely to start construction next year following the Commonwealth Games.  The $3 billion Gold Coast Integrated Resort (GCIR) will unlock an unused piece of land next to Sea World, creating a new waterfront precinct for locals and tourists.  The site will include a number of five- and six-star hotels, restaurants and theatres, as well as boutique shops and conference facilities.

Macroplan undertook work to assess the contribution of the GCIR on job creation and we estimate that it will generate over 13,000 new jobs, while also stimulating training, education and upskilling opportunities for young people.  That’s great for the Gold Coast, as the substantial increase in new jobs represents over 75% of its current unemployment rate.

Still in Queensland, the state government plans to simplify and standardise retail trading hours, making them more customer-friendly and encouraging employment.  At the moment, there are reportedly around 100 different retail hours and zones throughout the state, leading to lots of confusion and a lack of flexibility.  The changes will include extending trading hours for businesses such as butchers and hardware stores, and will remove strange anomalies, such as the fact that you can buy a boat on a Sunday, but not a car or a caravan!

In case you missed him last year, our Chairman Brian Haratsis will be returning to the small screen on Margaret Lomas' Property Success TV program which airs on the Sky News Business Channel 602, Friday nights at 8pm.  In this series, Brian covers topics as broad as investing in regional Australia, autonomous vehicles, and air B ’n’ B.

This is a big year for the PIA Congress as it celebrates its 50th.  Appropriately, the theme for 2017 is ‘Growing up, growing out’, and the event will be held in Australia’s oldest city, Sydney, on May 3 - 5.  Registrations are now open and, as usual, Macroplan will be sponsoring the Congress Gala Dinner on May 4 which takes place in Sydney’s grand Town Hall.  We will be partnering with the fabulous Orange Sky Laundry - the world’s first free mobile laundry service for homeless people.  I encourage you to be quick, and get your tickets now http://piacongress.com.au/

Looking forward to catching up with you on the night.

Michael Tilt