The saying ‘politics is stranger than fiction’ played out again in late August, when Scott Morrison became Australia’s 30th Prime Minister.
Beyond the intrigue and theatre of the Federal Liberal party’s leadership spill on that cold Canberra Friday after Parliament rose from its winter session, with the flurry of media commentary, analysis and critique that followed, is a nation in desperate need of stability, strong government, policy vision and leadership. That responsibility now rests with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Continuing the march to a surplus budget, arresting our national debt trajectory, increasing and expanding employment opportunities and retaining population growth levels that reflect our demographic and economic challenges are core issues for the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.
Importantly, Prime Minister Morrison knows the residential building industry and has engaged with HIA for many years. He is well informed about the contribution our industry makes to the Australian economy, to national productivity, employment and to government revenue. He understands the impact of taxation on housing affordability, the necessity for all Australians to have access to an affordable home (owner-occupiers and renters alike), and the impact of changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax on housing supply.
During August, HIA hosted a meeting of the International Housing Association in Canberra. Chaired by HIA’s Chief Executive - Industry Policy, Kristin Brookfield, the two-day meeting drew IHA members from Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Norway, Brazil, South Africa, Taiwan and the USA. The meeting addressed topics and challenges common to IHA member countries, including industry skills and training, housing supply, affordability, infrastructure, population growth and access to finance. The IHA meets twice each year, and will next meet in Las Vegas in February 2019.