Property Council's new state president calls for tax review

The state government should review property taxes and take a greater role in driving urban renewal, the Property Council of Australia's newly appointed Victorian president Lorenz Grollo said.

The state government should review property taxes and take a greater role in driving urban renewal, the Property Council of Australia's newly appointed Victorian president Lorenz Grollo said.

Mr Grollo said the council still had concerns about the impact of the new fire services levy on building owners and new fees on car parking in the city.

But it was generally supportive of the government's new planning blueprint, Plan Melbourne, he said.

"Melbourne is going to continue to grow, and it's best to plan for that growth."

Mr Grollo's company, Equiset, owns the iconic Rialto building in Collins Street in partnership with St Martins Properties and has been involved with numerous other developments in the city centre and suburbs.

Until recently, Equiset was working on a billion-dollar initiative in Coburg.

Large urban-renewal projects would benefit from greater government assistance, he said. "It comes down to getting the right assistance and being able to cut through a series of different authorities to get real buy-in."

The Property Council welcomed the government's push to establish a Metropolitan Planning Authority under Plan Melbourne. But any authority should have real development approval powers and not be a "paper tiger". The council said it had concerns about parts of the blueprint, including: the creation of residential apartment guidelines; a requirement for growth areas to have 18 dwellings a hectare; greater local government oversight of energy-efficiency regulations; and the threat of a permanent urban boundary on housing affordability.

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