NT government changeover won’t rock the boat for investors

NT government changeover won’t rock the boat for investors

Posted on Thursday, August 30 2012 at 3:28 PM

The Country Liberal Party (CLP) claimed victory at last weekend’s election following the Labor Party’s 11-year reign in the Northern Territory, with not a lot of ‘rocking the boat’ expected for investors, according to Terry Roth of Herron Todd White NT.

Incoming Chief Minister Terry
Mills promises to grow jobs, review the My New Home scheme (Labor’s 100 per
cent home loan with zero deposit for Territorians) and set up an independent
planning commission, among other changes.

While the Labor Party initially
introduced the My New Home scheme to encourage construction and to relieve the
pressure from house prices, the CLP believes it actually has the potential to
drive up house prices, hence the new government’s decision to place the scheme
on hold until a full review has been undertaken.

The share equity scheme (where
the buyer purchases a share of a property with the NT Government) still remains
to be operational and the all-important zero land tax rate still applies on all
residential property in the NT.

The Real Estate Institute of
Northern Territory chief executive Quentin Kilian still isn’t fully convinced
that the new government has a grasp on the overall long-term plan for the NT.

Kilian says the new government
should be planning for the year 2050, for a population of one million.
Currently the NT population is just under 212,000, with more than 120,000 of
this population living in Greater Darwin.

At this stage the Greater Darwin Plan
could be scrapped, Kilian adds. “Though there’s no sense in throwing out the
baby with the bath water. The plan should be reviewed and anything valuable
should be retained.”

Kilian says if the new
government doesn’t shift to a more progressive position on land density in
Darwin, the impact will be a rolling problem of supply and demand. “Is the new
government going to deliver this then? It’s still too early to tell.”

While it may still be too early
to tell what the full effect of the government changeover will be for the
supply-demand issue, Kilian adds what has already been discussed is the speedy
construction of 2000 inner-city dwellings to be rented at below market rate.

Kilian says he’ll continue to
push hard for developers to be given more flexibility to build higher density
buildings and the concept of creating urban villages in inner Darwin suburbs.

He says the CLP will more likely
have an easier task in its land release and densification program and generally
pushing through decisions because it won’t be in an awkward position of a hung
parliament, a situation the previous government was faced with.

While public administration jobs
have been slashed in other states under incoming Liberal governments in the
past year or so, so far it doesn’t appear that this will apply in the NT to the
same extent, says Roth.

“The next 40 years will be the
most substantial years ahead for Darwin with good solid growth ahead,” says

“The LNG (liquefied natural gas)
market is not as affected by the mining tax as iron ore or uranium. We also
know now that there is five to 10 times the amount of LNG out in the ocean than
what they’re currently pulling up. We have a long road ahead.”

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