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We start this edition with key speeches from Hansard at the passage of Victoria’s landmark Windfall Gains Tax legislation. You can discern the distinctly Georgist principles invoked by the four speakers to fend off property lobby misinformation and respond with the balance required.

Of note is Fiona Patten’s line “let us remember that you do not work for a windfall. It is not like you grow something and then the land is rezoned. This is something you are given. This is effectively almost a gift.”

The ALP’s Legislative Council lead Sonja Terpstra read out parts of our media release. It’s not often we get a win, so I hope you enjoy reading this text. Hansard can be such an interesting read on occasion.

We met with three out of the four speakers quoted here, alongside most of the cross bench and participated in several consultations with Treasury. You will find the social media tiles used during the campaign throughout this text.

Next up is more government engagement, this time from an unexpected source. I stumbled across a submission to the Falinski Inquiry on housing supply and affordability by Louise Ackland. Her submission contains a hidden gem: Mildura’s college land lease model. Like many others, she has come to the same conclusion from her own insights – leasing the land makes more sense than renting it off the banks.

Talking Falinski, you will note the photo of Saul Eslake taken during his presentation to the inquiry, who came up with the best definition for Land Tax and its effect on land prices that I have seen in a long time – “an additional stream of obligations”.
Prosper Australia President Catherine Cashmore works tirelessly at the interface of the real estate market, buying for some whilst advocating for a fairer economic framework. The Techno Rent-Seekers Milking the Real Estate Cycle provides an insight into her work at Fat Tail, where she edits the Cycles, Trends and Forecasts e-list to a significant following. She takes us into the world of digital real estate and the booms that have challenged the virtual industry. I found it fascinating to see no matter how fast this industry is growing, nor what new technology can bring, the same predictable problems arise.

One of the articles in our Media Checklist ‘How land banking slays online games’ provides further historical insight into virtual games like Second Life and the reforms required.

John Jamieson is a Prosper member who always makes me smile with a tale from his decades as a surveyor. You know the type you want to sit around a campfire and exchange stories deep into the night? His take on Property Pirates is a piece you can give to a newcomer with confidence. His smattering of historical precedents with current day pressures helps make sense of what was once known as the level playing field.

Here at Prosper we are swimming in opportunity. Our profile has continued to build, with both Treasury and journalists calling us for our perspective on the public interest. At present there are several government inquiries we’d submit to if we had another set of hands. Our fantastic comms manager, Charlotte, has finished her contract and is back in the film directors chair now COVID restrictions have eased.

We are seeking an additional member for our honorary board too. We have a fleshed-out fundraising plan ready to execute, and have a number of policy working groups underway. The big one of course – here it comes – is to find new major donors.* As our next strategic planning day approaches, we will do our best to find the right gear for the quantum leap this movement deserves. If you’d like to get involved, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Our thoughts go out to all Ukrainians. 

* Make a tax deductible donation to the Prosper Australia Research Institute

Thanks to Vlad Chetan for the excellent image.