Friday, 10 February 2012 15:03
Nearly 25% of the cost of a house and land package is in federal, state and local government taxes and charges.
Executive Director of the UDIA (VIC) Tony De Domenico, who will speak at the Master Builders Association of Victoria annual conference in Melbourne, today warned governments that continual tax rises and the cost of unnecessary red tape on the industry could seriously undermine its contribution to the economy.
"Government policies are a direct threat to the stability of the Australian property industry and housing affordability, and the costly processes to bring land to market need a major overhaul".
Mr De Domenico said, "In two years there has been a $13,500 rise in taxes and charges - $125 a week, on an average block of land valued at $200,000".
"The Victorian development industry directly employs around 310,000 full time employees, contributes around 12 per cent of the state's gross domestic product and contributes $4.6 billion in taxes to all tiers of government".
"I think you could safely say that without our industry, the economy and government budgets would be in very big trouble."
Mr De Domenico said, "on top of the taxes and charges, the industry is facing massive costs from environmental regulation, especially from the Federal Government which is confusing with new home buyers being forced to carry the cost of environmental regulation instead of the cost being spread across the community."
UDIA (VIC) supports some of the proposed changes to biodiversity conservation policy, particularly where they cut red tape.
"However, we consider the proposed offsets of non-native vegetation for the golden sun moth and proposed offsets of manmade habitat for the growling grass frog to be a flat tax on virtually all development."
The UDIA considers that there should be no offsets payable for removal of non-native vegetation and manmade habitat; while we understand the new regime would allow landowners to develop their land without interference from DSE or the Commonwealth, we do not understand why landowners should be asked to pay a flat retrospective tax on all their land regardless of whether it is confirmed habitat or not.
"The reality is, especially on the fringe, projects are often taking over degraded farm land and during construction there are hundreds of trees planted and substantial wetlands created as part of restoring natural habitats and protecting water resources."
Last year the development industry in Melbourne alone contributed $92.2 million to waterways and wetlands according to the Melbourne Water Healthy Water Ways annual report.
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, UDIA - Mobile: 0417 329 201