Property Council launches epic NG scare campaign


By Leith van Onselen

The Property Council of Australia (PCA) has today launched a full-blown mining tax-styled scare campaign against Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing and the CGT discount, involving a month long advertising blitz of TV, radio and digital platforms. Below is the full media release:

The Property Council today released TV, radio, newspaper and digital advertisements promoting the benefits of negative gearing to the Australian economy.

“Almost two million Australians own an investment property and almost 1.2 million negative gear”, said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council.

“This is an industry that is vital to our economy. 1.1 million Australians rely on property for their jobs and property generates one ninth of Australia’s GDP.

“Sudden lurches in policy are risky to an industry that is contributing so much to jobs and growth.

“Negative gearing is a vital part of the means by which Australians, from all walks of life, secure their financial future.

“Our message to both sides of politics is: don’t play with negative gearing.

Mr Morrison said the advertisements are focused on facts and not politics.

“Tax is always a legitimate area of debate and we are happy to put the case for our industry and the millions of Australians who rely on it.

“But this is not a campaign, nor is it a multi-million dollar blitz of the airwaves.

“Frankly, we intend to win this debate on the strength of our arguments, rather than through a large advertising spend.

“Some will want to equate what we are doing with the mining industry campaign – and they would be wrong.

“The tradies, bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters, landscapers, surveyors, real estate agents and investors who make up this industry can be found in every community throughout the country. That is who we will be talking to.

“Starting a conversation with the grassroots of our industry is the first step in communicating the importance of negative gearing to the community.

“Our ads are a reminder that Australians from all walks of life depend on the property industry – and seismic shifts in policy put this at risk.

Mr Morrison said that both sides of politics have put changes to negative gearing on the table.

“Playing with negative gearing is a risk to our industry and the economy. We would be negligent as the advocates of the industry not to say so.

Mr Morrison said the advertisements will run over a month.

We know that between 1989 and 1995, Treasurer Scott Morrison was the National Manager of Policy and Research at the PCA.

Will Scott Morrison have the cajones to shake free from his PCA roots and produce a meaningful reform package that benefits the broader public? Or will he once again cede to the property industry rent seekers?


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About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.