October Message from Michael Tilt, CEO

Spring is in the air.  A time of growth, and MacroPlan is no exception.  We have been increasing our staff numbers around the country and across all divisions - from economics, planning and retail, to advisory and projects.  Our investment in staff, as well as technology and professional development will remain a priority. Also growing at a heady pace are home prices.  According to Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison, ‘it’s getting harder and harder to buy a home’.  Speaking at the Urban Development Institute a few days ago, Morrison said that the mortgage, as a share of median income, has more than doubled in the past 35 years.

While conceding that there is no one single housing market in Australia - ‘it’s different all across the country’ - he claimed that complex planning regulations are the reason people are struggling to break into the market, and he called on the states to remove unnecessary regulations.

Housing affordability was also a feature of the draft South East Queensland (SEQ) Regional Plan released by Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Jackie Trad.

Ms Trad said ‘the draft plan focuses on affordable living – not just affordable housing – and looks at the way that people interact with their community and the services around them.’

The SEQ draft plan reflects consultation with the region’s 12 councils and attempts to provide for sustainable growth as the area’s population increases to an expected 5.3 million people in the next 25 years.  Queensland believes that smart planning will allow them to capitalise on the transition to a services and knowledge-driven economy, lifting economic growth and providing more jobs.

There are also grand visions for the future due to be unveiled in the NSW capital.  The Greater Sydney Commission will release its District Plans in the next few weeks.  Created as an independent statutory body in January this year, the role of the Commission is to enable holistic planning which the government felt was being hampered by the large number of local councils.

Working across government so that development, transport and housing plans are aligned, the Commission has a mandate to deliver big ideas that will be ‘game changers’.

Sydney has been in the spotlight recently as the covers were lifted on its $1.5 billion Convention Centre.  Due to open in December, the Centre already has over 400 events booked in, from rock concerts to international conferences.  Spanning three city blocks, the huge complex can host 30,000 people across its three venues.  Just as well it boasts the biggest kitchen in the Southern hemisphere!  This world-class destination is expected to inject billions of dollars into the NSW economy.

From international conference city to island getaway . . . this year’s Property Congress, the country’s biggest property conference, has just sailed over the horizon.  It was white sand, turquoise water and palm trees by day; fancy dress, carnival party and fireworks by night, as the Property Council held its annual conference on Queensland’s Hamilton Island.  Of course, in between, there were some interesting presentations and great networking opportunities.

Melbourne will be getting its chance to party with the Cup next week. The field hasn’t yet been decided, but in the time-honoured tradition of competition, Sydneysiders might be backing Bondi Beach for a win if it makes the final cut.  Just saying . . .  Good luck with your punting!

To discuss any of the items mentioned above, please contact my office on 02 9221 5211 or send an email to tilt@macroplan.com.au.

Michael Tilt