A strong association

Members at all levels contribute to the policies HIA takes forward to advocate for the residential building and construction industry.

Author

Pino Monaco

In early May I chaired the Association’s annual National Policy Congress meeting. As its name indicates, the National Policy Congress is central to our Association’s policy development program. Among other things, it is tasked with reviewing and formulating HIA’s policies across technical, planning, licensing, contracting, taxation and many other important areas that impact on members, their businesses and the residential building industry more broadly.

During the 12 months preceding a congress meeting, hundreds of members across Australia meet regularly through a range of local, branch, regional and national committees. There they discuss, debate and develop responses and policy positions to address the issues that confront their businesses and our industry from time to time. In all, more than 1,000 members will have helped identify the problems and issues, provided input, considered solutions, debated for and against options and helped craft the policy recommendations before they are considered by the National Policy Congress.

The National Policy Congress draws from that collective wealth of knowledge, insight and experience, before ratifying the Association’s national policy positions and responses that in turn underpin our lobbying and advocacy work, particularly during state, territory and federal election campaigns.

Governments, regulators and the media acknowledge the depth of analysis and consideration that HIA policies undergo. Importantly, they understand that our policy positions are well-considered, credible and defendable.

‘Build to rent’ is one example of an issue that has attracted significant media attention over recent months, and one that HIA is currently evaluating. It entails a level of government support through direct funding, taxation offsets, planning allowances or other incentives to attract institutional investment for housing projects that are dedicated for private rental accommodation.

The National Policy Congress draws from that collective wealth of knowledge, insight and experience

While governments already support and often fully fund the construction of social and public housing to provide shelter for low income and welfare dependent households, providing funding, offsets, allowances or other incentives for mainstream private rental accommodation is a relatively new concept in Australia.

To date commentary around ‘build to rent’ has focused on large-scale institutional investment for multi-unit accommodation, rather than capturing the full housing spectrum, including detached housing. Providing incentives that benefit one sector of the industry over another is a matter that will no doubt factor in HIA’s evaluation.

I encourage members to get involved in the development of the Association’s national policies – policies that support our members and promote our industry, and policies that oppose unnecessary regulation, excessive taxation and regulatory interference. Your contribution and voice is always welcome.

I wish to advise members that after more than 22 years’ service to the Association, and more than nine years as our Managing Director, Shane Goodwin is retiring from HIA. I’ll have more to say about Shane’s significant contributions to the Association and the residential building industry in a future edition of Housing. In the meantime, I am delighted to announce that HIA’s Deputy Managing Director, Graham Wolfe has been appointed as incoming Managing Director, effective from 28 August 2018.

Finally, I trust that you are enjoying the new-look Housing magazine as much as I am. And if you prefer to read online, you can access recent editions from our website at your convenience.

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