Now a property developer as well, Mr Dupere says the challenge for the building industry is delivering affordable dwellings because not everybody wants to live in an apartment.
‘It doesn’t have to be big patch of dirt but it needs to be a patch of dirt that’s theirs,’ he says.
Mr Dupere suggests the answer is to take terrace living to the suburbs but the government needs to knock down planning hurdles and allow 120-square metre blocks.
‘Everybody’s idea of higher density is high-rise but it’s not. You can have nice two- to three-storey terraces like they have in the inner city of Sydney and Melbourne – they would be wildly popular and the efficiencies of construction are there,’ he says.
‘That’s how the building industry can supply adequate housing at an affordable price.’
Benedict has partnered with Mirvac in two major projects, at Moorebank near Liverpool and Menangle, south-west of Sydney.
Its decommissioned Moorebank quarry is to be transformed into a marina with 350 apartments, 35 terraces, 180 houses, and a shopping centre with another 180 apartment and offices.
The Menangle Creamery site south-west of Sydney is to be redeveloped into a major new destination with a train station, new town centre, restored heritage buildings, brewery, distillery, restaurants, hotel and a concert amphitheatre for 20,000 people.
‘We want to create something special,’ Mr Dupere says.
‘That’s what drives me, I’m not driven by money these days – I’m driven by solving problems and creating good outcomes.’