Media Release


Time's Up for Canberra Green Tape Hoax



Executive Director of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victoria), Tony De Domenico today backed the Federal Opposition's policy to simplify planning in Australia by handing the responsibilities to State Governments.


Tony De Domenico
Executive Director

Mr De Domenico said the time for the Canberra Green Tax Hoax, where the bureaucracy hides behind a decision to ban a project with a couple of hundred jobs on the hope a Growling Grass Frog will hop by one day, or an Orange Bellied Parrot might fly over in the next few years, was now up.

"Political parties need to develop policies and guidelines for environmental assessment on a triple bottom system with environmental, social and economic considerations which provides certainty".

"This would take into account situations such as the expenditure of $500,000 on a couple of hectares for the supposed growling grass frog to hop through, or put the money into a community centre."

Mr De Domenico said it is significant that both the Federal Government and the Opposition have recognised the major impact that these excessive, poorly administered green tape laws have had on Australia's productivity, especially in the residential housing sector and ultimately on jobs.

"The current confused regulatory approach to environment issues in the property and development areas is destroying the credibility of environmental policies through the lack of a strategic approach with hide and seek decision making."

"Projects can be delayed for years with green tape and the cost being passed on to first home buyers who, despite struggling to get into the housing market and battling rising costs of living, are in reality being slugged with a hidden green tape tax that is added to their mortgage."

Mr De Domenico said, "In Victoria the 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".

"Nearly a quarter of a house and land package is in federal, state and local taxes / charges and there has been a $13,500 rise in taxes and charges - $125 a week, on an average block of land in just two years."

Mr De Domenico said, both the Federal Government and the Opposition should do a rapid review of red tape and green tape policies in these tough economic times as part of the stimulus package for the housing and development industry to kick start a boost to employment.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, UDIA (VIC) Mobile: 0417 329 201