Federal election results don’t usually carry significant implications for the property industry as State politics decide the brunt of issues for our industry. Some exceptions to this rule in recent years have been Bill Shorten’s proposal to reform negative gearing and the implementation of the capital gains tax in 2019, but these instances were departures from the norm.
However, as I was watching the ABC’s election coverage on Saturday evening, it was evident that issues of housing affordability, climate change and transparency surrounding decision making were at the forefront of the voters’ minds.
A moment that stood out for me was when former Victorian Liberal Deputy State Director, Tony Barry, conceded his party had lost their base. Of note ‒ particularly, given my weekly election summaries ‒ was his acknowledgement that the Liberal Party had failed to soundly address housing affordability.
Barry put it most eloquently when he said: “You can’t create conservatives if they have got nothing to conserve.” I’ve never heard housing affordability associated with this framework before, but it was perhaps the most succinct and accurate summary of the election result of the evening.
People voted for their futures, keeping not only housing affordability but also climate change at the heart of their choice ‒ hardly a surprise when our planet represents the greatest portion of real estate we can conserve.
I suspect the implications of the 2022 Federal election will be diverse, challenging and stimulating as the nation made the collective call to take action for our future.
Our industry will need to understand how the commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, with a midpoint 2030 target of 43 percent, will affect how and what we build. I would speculate we will start seeing planning policy move to holistically embrace climate change action and I’m also curious to see how the voters of Kooyong will react when it becomes evident that sustainable future actions will include densification of our inner and middle suburbs and a greater uptake of public transport for a car free ‒ or, at the very least, electric car powered ‒ future.
Our industry has long touted the environmental messaging around urban consolidation but a political push has always been missing to genuinely nudge us towards greater change. Are we likely to see Local, State and Federal politics collide? How will these changes filter into renewable infrastructure like wind farms, solar farms and increased solar panelling in residential areas?
Undoubtably, there will be a few bumps on the biked-laned roads. For my part, I regard these opportunities with excitement. The pandemic has proven just how our adaptable our industry can be, particularly when under pressure with few alternatives. I expect the same can be said for the planning policy in the years ahead.