February message from Michael Tilt, CEO

Welcome to our February e-news and welcome for the first time to my new column which will be a regular feature in our MacroPlan newsletter that touches on some of the current big-ticket items in our industry. The Australian Infrastructure Plan was released last week. With its broad range of city-shaping objectives for the next 15 years, the plan includes a list of major infrastructure priorities for the country which provides insight for our clients about the direction the government is taking and the opportunities this creates for investment.

In the coming weeks, we will be making contact with clients to suggest ways in which you can use the Infrastructure Plan to enhance your business objectives. MacroPlan has been closely studying the recommendations and priorities laid out in the Plan. We believe there are some very exciting potential avenues for growth, and encourage you to discuss these with us.

One of the key recommendations is that the Australian Government should develop a population policy to direct growth for the next 50 years. This is an interesting suggestion, and comes at the same time the ABS announced Australia has reached 24 million people - believed to have occurred on February 16. It is projected that we will reach 50 million in 2089.

Not surprisingly, we continue to be mainly capital-city dwellers with an increasing proportion of older people, and one of the highest life-expectancy rates in the world. Our evolving demographic ‘identity’ has important implications for the way our cities need to develop in response.

Talking of population growth, Chief Minister Andrew Barr has just announced that he wants the population of Canberra’s city centre to swell six-fold within five to 10 years, from 3,500 to 20,000. Congratulations to Minister Barr for his courage in targeting that figure for the inner city. It’s always tough to explain to a community that greater density is a positive outcome, especially when there are alternate locations for growth. Canberra has a clear strategy to support light rail and transform to a 21st century city.

With the approaching local government elections in Queensland, investor confidence has been down due to a perceived lack of policy continuity. This, together with a more general lack of confidence in the state’s economy, has been impacting our private investment community. However, MacroPlan’s assessment of the underlying fundamentals for South East Queensland is still strong. We believe there is a bright investment future here.

Want to know more? Feel free to get in touch with me via email or phone 02 9221 5211.

Michael Tilt CEO 20MAR13JH-95