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Time to ease rule burden

IT is time for the new WA Govern-ment to drop the regulatory burden on the property industry.

The Coalition did not adequately address issues important to the property industry in the late 1990s.

Issues requiring attention include tax reform, electricity market deregulation, parking laws, and building legislation.

Inaction by the Liberals left the industry with the highest taxes of any sector, CBD values at 70 per cent of 1990 levels, and declining retail sales.

Dr Geoff Gallop has the chance to start with fresh ideas to improve the WA economy, generate jobs and a higher standard of living for WA.

The Property Council is asking the Labor Government to take urgent action to bolster the confidence of the property sector in its pre-budget submission.

Prepared with wide input from property owners, developers, managers and agents, the 2001 submission sets out proposals for reform in eight key areas. It covers taxation, electricity market deregulation, parking, labour relations, public sector reform, planning legis-lation, heritage and building laws.

A key to taxation reform is to establish the promised business tax review immediately, which can consider the removal of stamp duty from commercial conveyances over the next five years using GST revenues returned to WA.

The Property Council is also seeking:

lReplace old laws with integrated development assessment law.

lEstablish a heritage fund.

lExpedite consideration of draft building legislation to complete a process started in 1988.

lRequire that the proposed electricity reform assess reforms required to attract alternative suppliers to the WA electricity market.

l A review of Perth’s parking policy to consider whether existing restrictions are limiting Perth’s economic performance.

l The introduction of workplace relations system where employers and employees are able to reach individual agreements at any workplace, subject to minimum standards.

l Laws to ensure that employees and employers are genuinely free to choose whether or not to belong to a union or industrial organisation.

A Government that takes steps to improve the regulation of the property industry will find itself rewarded through more investment and more jobs for Western Australians.

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