Economic recovery and long-term prosperity
Australia’s political leaders have taken decisive action in responding to the biggest public health crisis in a century. As a community, we have all changed how we live, work and interact. Together, we have so far avoided the terrible health outcomes seen in other countries.
But the swift action to protect the health of Australians has taken its own serious economic toll. The economy has contracted sharply, unemployment has leapt, consumer confidence and business investment have crashed, and our population will shrink for the first time in generations. All this within a sharp globally-synchronised contraction the like of which the world has never seen.
Like our governments, the immediate focus of the property industry has been on the health and wellbeing of our staff, tenants and stakeholders. But the economic consequences – both direct and indirect – have been also very significant. From the immediate demand-side hit to sectors such as hotels, student accommodation and retail, through to the operational challenges for retirement living operators and the flow-on implications for the commercial property sector and housing construction pipelines.
Resetting our economy will require the same strength of leadership and decision making as was shown in the face of the health crisis.
The Prime Minister has flagged the need for a bold reform agenda to reset and reopen our economy. He has called for fresh thinking to get Australians back into jobs and a harnessing of the goodwill shown in the face of the health crisis.
As a country we need government and industry to work together to:
- Get Australians safely back to work,
- Inject confidence into households and consumers,
- Get business investing again,
- Restore the traditional drivers of Australia’s economic growth (skills, investment and trade) and find new sources of economic strength, and
- Set the country on a permanent high-productivity trajectory.
Achieving these goals will require a mix of fresh thinking and revisiting well known reform agendas which should be reassessed.
The property industry will play an important role in Australia’s economic recovery and ongoing prosperity. Property is the nation’s biggest industry and largest employer. It accounts for 13% of Australia’s GDP and provides jobs for 1.4 million, more than mining and manufacturing combined.
The Property Council of Australia presents this seven-point plan to the National Cabinet to help stimulate Australia’s economic recovery and secure long-term prosperity.