Home' API Magazine : December 2014 Contents 104 n APIMAGAZINE.COM.AU n DECEMBER 2014
ewly appointed president of
the Real Estate Institute of
Tasmania (REIT) Tony Collidge
says the budget could have been
“But I think in our State Treasurer’s
words it was ‘measured and responsible’
and that pretty much sums it up,”
“There aren’t huge measures in there
that are going to significantly affect the
local marketplace. In fact the impact on
real estate is going to be very minimal.”
Property Council state president Tim
Johnstone says he welcomes the budget
as an encouraging sign for the new
“Progressing key initiatives such as
the Planning Reform Taskforce, the
Coordinator General and Infrastructure
Tasmania, promise to result in improved
conditions for business in coming years,”
While the position of the Coordinator
General has been identified, no one has
yet been appointed for the role.
“They’ve committed resources, which
is really good, but now we need to see
some action,” he says.
“We’re also pleased essential needs,
like housing and infrastructure, haven’t
fallen victim to budget pressures,
with an extra $17.2 million to deliver
affordable housing as part of a
$1.6 billion infrastructure spend.”
The first homeowners building boost
will be reduced from $30,000 to $20,000
But come June 30, 2015, it will be
halved to $10,000, which Johnstone says
is a disappointment.
“It doesn’t put us in a very competitive
position in relation to similar schemes
interstate,” he says.
It’s a concern there’s nothing there
for first homebuyers wanting to buy an
existing home too, Collidge says.
The REIT had also hoped the
government would look at stamp duty
for this budget but that economic lever
was also ignored.
“Basically revamp the first
homebuilders boost,” Collidge says.
“So providing stamp duty incentives
for people both building and buying
existing homes as well.”
This could include a stamp duty rebate
for a first homebuyer and a stamp duty
rebate for a land buyer.
“So then everybody’s a winner,”
“That was probably the biggest loss
in terms of the property/building
industry. But I do think it was a fairly
One of the key issues the Property
Council has pressed on is the need for
local government reform.
“There are 29 councils in Tasmania
and we’d like a debate on what’s the best
structure for local government,” he says.
“The important thing is local
government reform isn’t on the
government’s agenda. It’s not
even being debated and that’s the
While Tassie may not be seeing the
residential growth like its interstate
cousins, Johnstone says the island’s size
is an economic positive.
“Because we’re such a small market
and population, things can change
quickly through strong leadership. And
from that you get a renewed confidence,”
Based on the early 2000s property
boom, Johnstone says it can happen
And he thinks the state is heading in
the right direction.
“Well, there are two things I can see.
One is for government initiatives and
strong leadership to give confidence
things are happening,” he says.
“And the other thing, like in the early
2000s, the gap between the average price
in Tasmania and Victoria or Sydney is
While property prices in Melbourne
and Sydney have been increasing rapidly
since 2009, Hobart prices have actually
fallen during that period.
“So affordability is a real bonus for
Tasmania,” he says.
“But then it’s about jobs. We can’t just
rely on retirees coming here.”
Public sector jobs were one of the
budget’s casualties with the government
axing 700 positions in a bid to get
Tasmania’s budget back on track. The
island state has the nation’s highest
unemployment rate, predicted to be
7.25 per cent for 2014-15.
Treasurer Peter Gutwein says the
number one priority is jobs and has
allocated $28 million to generate up to
5000 positions in the coming years.
“I’d hate to be the treasurer of
Tasmania at the moment,” Collidge says.
“If you describe the state government
as a business, it has very little capital, has
very little funding and it’s got to try and
grow and create an environment that
can get things going again.”
But there’s general optimism among
small business, and consumer sentiment
is a lot more positive than it’s been in a
long time, according to Collidge.
“I’m excited about where we’re going. I
think things can only get better
in Tasmania. I don’t think they can
get worse.” API
STATE OF AFFAIRS
The state election is out of the way and Tasmania’s
budget has been released. So where to next for
Tassie’s economy?DINAH LEWIS BOUCHER [@DinahBoucher]
up to 5000
Hobart Parliament House
THE STATES n TAS
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