MB often refers to Treasurer Scott Morrison as “Australia’s real estate treasurer” because of his close links with the Property Council of Australia (PCA), where he served as National Manager of Policy and Research between 1989 and 1995.
We also frequently deride the Turnbull Government for its staunch defence of negative gearing, and its blatant lies surrounding the issue, as well as its support of Australia’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy, which is designed in part to keep the property industry well fed with extra demand.
Not happy with its already pervasive reach within the Coalition, the Real Estate Institute (REIA) is now calling for a dedicated “property minister” to be created within the Government to further the industry’s interests. From The SMH:
Real estate agents are pushing the Coalition to introduce a new ‘property services’ minister to bring the nation’s multi-billion dollar housing and development industry closer to the heart of government…
REIA president Malcolm Gunning told Fairfax Media that bringing property policy under the one roof would be “better for the public”.
“[Then] things such as first home buyer grants or incentives, stamp duty, all those [would not] just be looked at in isolation,” Mr Gunning said. “What you’ve got then is all people who are involved with that business in the one area, and that is not unusual.
“[Real estate and property] will then be given the importance and administration that it requires”…
The REIA submission noted the property sector was one of the largest sectors in the Australian economy and had been a driver of economic growth since the end of the mining boom.
“No matter what changes occur in the composition of sources of growth, property will continue to be a major source of employment and investment for decades to come as well as the major asset class for the majority of Australians,” it said.
However Alan Morris, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute of Public Policy and Governance, expressed doubts over who a dedicated minister would serve.
“A minister for ‘property services’ has the connotations of serving a particular interest,” Professor Morris said. After reviewing the REIA’s submission, he said the impression he got was it was “all about strengthening the real estate industry”.
This site has long called for a dedicated housing ministry within the Turnbull Government, as well as an overarching national housing policy. These would serve the national interest far better than the “property minister” proposed by the REIA, which is clearly intended to serve the real estate industry first and foremost, which is already heavily favoured by the Turnbull Government.