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Industry leaders ask the hard questions
Released 15 June 2011

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird and NSW Valuer General Philip Western joined REINSW to shine the spotlight on the big issues.    

With a focus on the future of the real estate profession, industry leaders came together on Friday, 10 June 2011 at the quarterly REINSW/Direct Connect ‘Industry in Focus’ lunch to discuss contemporary issues affecting the industry.

“These invitation-only events are an opportunity for major industry players from both the residential and commercial real estate sectors to come together and discuss issues impacting upon the industry,” explained REINSW President Wayne Stewart.

“It’s a great chance to us to speak directly with key government decision makers,” he said. “When else would you have the opportunity to sit across the table from the Treasurer and the Valuer General and ask the hard questions?”

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird kicked off proceedings with a short address highlighting some of the challenges facing the NSW Government and outlining what is being done to tackle them.

“A strong housing sector is absolutely essential to this economy moving forward and the Government is very focused on that,” stated Mr Baird.

Characterising the ad valorem tax imposed by the previous government as “yet another impost on an industry that is already taxed to its teeth”, Mr Baird said that repeal of the tax, along with the expansion of the ‘empty nesters’ stamp duty, signalled that the NSW Government was looking for ways to make the property sector more competitive.

“These are initiatives that we are keen to build on.”

Following his address, Mr Baird was joined by NSW Valuer General Philip Western for a Q&A session.

With these key government representatives in the room, attendees took the opportunity to canvass a wide range of issues currently impacting the profession and the industry.

The new national licensing system and the impending change to entry-level educational requirements to the industry was a hot topic, with both Mr Baird and Mr Western agreeing that the bar was set too low. Mr Western also expressed some concern regarding the potential flow-on effects to the licensing of valuers.

Attendees were particularly vocal about the necessity to make professional indemnity insurance compulsory.

“It’s a no brainer,” REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin explained. “If the government is serious about protecting consumers, then compulsory professional indemnity insurance is a must.”

Rounding out the discussion, Mr Baird admitted that the planning system in NSW “is broken in a range of ways”.

“It’s currently being reviewed and in 18 months we should be in a position to introduce a revised planning system that will place NSW in a much better position.” 

Organised and facilitated by REINSW, senior representatives from major franchises and industry groups were in attendance at ‘Industry in Focus’ on Friday, 10 June 2011:

  • Australian Livestock & Property Association
  • Belle Property
  • CB Richard Ellis
  • Century 21
  • Colliers International (NSW)
  • First National Real Estate
  • Laing+Simmons
  • Landmark
  • LJ Hooker
  • PRDnationwide
  • Real Estate Employers Federation
  • Westpac