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.