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Last week’s ABS data on building approvals should be a big wake-up call for our federal election candidates.

Building approvals are declining, and the construction pipeline is drying up. This matters for the 1.4 million jobs supported by the property industry, and it really matters for the Australian economy. When one of the economy’s big engines starts to slow down, our policy-makers need to take notice.

We need to see policies from both sides of politics that will stimulate construction that helps to meet the current and future housing needs for a growing nation. The political focus on housing affordability that dominated the 2016 campaign has waned somewhat with the shifting property cycle. However, the real issue is in the housing construction data. That’s where the real jobs and investment activity comes from.

Our election platform document sets out our policy recommendations for an incoming government, including steps to boost housing supply and strengthen federal housing policy leadership.

The party leaders will meet for their final head-to-head debate on Wednesday night, and the Liberal Party campaign launch is expected this weekend, following yesterday’s Labor launch.

There’ll also be some important numbers out this week which could shape the direction of the last two weeks of the campaign – including tomorrow’s RBA decision on interest rates, and Labor’s policy costings which it has promised later in the week.

Some of the key policy announcements and statements from the campaign are listed below.

 

KEN MORRISON

Chief Executive
Property Council of Australia
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