ACT Budget: Mixed Bag, Missed Opportunities

ACT Budget: Mixed Bag, Missed Opportunities

Property Council of Australia Interim ACT and Capital Region Executive Director Gino Luglietti said the last Territory Budget before the October election had been an opportunity for the Barr Government to set a clear course for growth into 2025 and beyond.

“This is two thirds of the Budget we needed, and it’s certainly not the bold kind of a Budget one would expect in the lead up to an historic election,” Mr Luglietti said.
“Some obvious and important omissions include tax reform, overdue zoning updates, and a new Canberra Stadium.

“Another significant downside is a new payroll tax surcharge for larger national and multi-national businesses. This sends a bad signal to larger employers who may have had plans to expand or invest for the first time in the ACT,” he said.

Mr Luglietti said the success of tomorrow’s Canberra depends on the success of the property, development and built environment sector.

“We needed a Budget laser-focused on growth to provide more homes for a massive population boom in the coming years.

“While a commitment of $285 million on housing, planning and infrastructure is welcome, this Budget needed more of a sense of urgency behind residential zoning reforms, a better resourced and more efficient planning system, tax reforms to drive more investment, and faster infrastructure build.”

Mr Luglietti said all eyes will now be on the parties’ plans going into the October Election.

“We need to create a more balanced and diversified tax system that makes the ACT the best place for investment and business, one which provides more transparency and certainty, particularly around the growth in general rates and commercial property rates. Increasing payroll tax on larger companies over the next two years will only make doing business in the ACT harder.

“This is a make-or-break year for future of the ACT. The decisions taken in this Budget, and at the ballot box in October, will determine whether we enter 2025 with a running start on growth or with more hill to climb,” Mr Luglietti said.

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