Media Release


Federal Government Double Dip Tax Proposal



Federal Government Charging for Services - A Double Dip Tax and another Threat to Housing Affordability 


Tony De Domenico 
Executive Director  

With the Federal Government already receiving $23,500 tax on a $200,000 housing block in Victoria, attempts to charge over $89,000 for the processing of environmental submissions by the Department of Environment for housing developments is unjustified, the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) said today.

Executive Director of the UDIA (VIC) Tony De Domenico said, "this is just another unwarranted tax on first home buyers at a time when housing affordability in Australia is under attack on every street corner".

"This raises a serious precedent - will other Federal Government agencies follow the same ploy to try and boost their budgets?"

In a submission to the Federal Government the UDIA said, "The estimated cost of $89,000 for the assessment has surprised the industry as it exceeds current costs of the private sector involved in environmental assessments."

Mr De Domenico said given the 35-day turn around for this process, it is clear that this and other fees noted in the discussion paper released by Department exceed the rates currently being charged by experienced environmental consultants. The UDIA has calculated the cost to equate to 8 full time mid-level scientists working for the 35 day period, which is unlikely.

"This can be seen as an attempted double dip at taxing the first home buyer and the industry as both the State and Federal Governments receive substantial taxes from urban development".

"These taxes form part of the base which should fund activities such as those performed by the Department in relation to the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act".

"Whilst the UDIA supports the goals of the EPBC Act, we do not support cost recovery as an appropriate source of revenue for the Department."

The UDIA submission says a proliferation of inefficient taxes and a complex, unresponsive planning regime are responsible for exacerbating the price of housing. Developments which have required approval under the EPBC Act have often garnered substantial additional costs, in the form of expert consultant's fees, holding costs, mitigation efforts and the significant financial burden associated with environmental offsets.

"These costs ultimately are passed on to the home buyer," Mr De Domenico said.


Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, UDIA - Mobile: 0417 329 201