Prosper Australia today applauded the State Government’s announcement for taking housing affordability more seriously. However, questions must be asked about who benefits most from this announcement.

“Today’s declaration of residential zoning has made Victoria’s land bankers more money in a day than many earn in a lifetime.”

“Questions must be asked why the government is releasing 90,000 blocks of land when the property industry swallowed up at least 38,000 sites in just one year, as reported in the Age (22/09/07).” stated Prosper Australia spokesman Karl Fitzgerald.

“The property industry has dictated all housing affordability policies at both state and federal level.”

“When are affordability policies going to help renters and first home buyers rather than Australia’s wealthiest industry?”

“By opening up further areas to be serviced by new infrastructure, the State government has put added pressure on local councils already struggling with the infrastructure deficit. “

“Such sprawl will tie first home owners to their car, adding to pollution problems and traffic congestion. It’s like a slap in the face for both first home owners and future generations.”

“If land banking continues in its present form, the State government will be forced to use the option it should have pursued today; to lift the holding charges on land to deter speculation.”

“With Rudd’s housing policies completing the wish list for developers by increasing the purchasing power of buyers, we will only see house prices continue to increase. “

“Housing affordability will only truly be addressed by reforming Land Tax, such that a flatter and higher rate ensures land banking and other land related inefficiencies are uneconomic. Urban infill will then be encouraged and new infrastructure projects will be funded by the land value capture that results from such beneficial new services.”

“Without Land Tax reform, land bankers will only continue to hold first home owners to ransom”.

“Land Tax is only criticised because it is the one tax the super wealthy can’t avoid and ensures the public gets a share of this easy money” said Mr Fitzgerald.