Infrastructure and housing affordability have emerged as the leading priorities for New South Wales as the lady has overseen the commencement of a massive range of transport projects is elected as the state’s new Premier.
In a party room meeting, the NSW Liberal Party elected Gladys Berijiklian as its new leader to replace Mike Baird, who resigned last week.
Berijiklian is widely respected within the property and infrastructure sector after she oversaw the commencement of a massive program of public transport investment during her four years as Transport Minister from 2011 to 2015.
This includes the extension of the Sydney Light Rail Dulwich Line and the commencement of the multi-billion-dollar North West Rail Link.
Addressing the media, Berijiklian promised to focus upon local infrastructure, the economy and housing affordability.
In terms of infrastructure, Berijiklian says she wants to see projects everywhere, and not just in Sydney.
“I know what difference it is for a community if a dirt road becomes a bitumen road,” Berijiklian said, according to ABC’s The World Today program.
“I know what difference it makes to a community if there is a new hospital ward or if there is a toilet upgrade at the local sporting oval.
“Under my leadership, every community across the state will be better off and will get its fair share.”
In terms of housing affordability, Berijiklian says she believes new supply is the best way forward but is open to considering proposals such as replacing stamp duty with land tax.
She says the affordability of housing is one is the most significant issue which people had raised with her.
“I want to make sure that every average hard-working person in this state can aspire to own their own home,” Berijiklian said.
“That’s something that I have valued and worked hard to do. I want to make sure everyone else has that same opportunity as well.”
Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald welcomed the appointment but called for action on a number of fronts – especially in terms of unlocking new housing supply.
In order to do this, Fitzgerald said it was important to unlock more land and to reform the planning system, especially by including more code assessable development to enable homes to be constructed more quickly.
The foreign investment tax should also be reformed whilst stamp duty cuts should be considered, Fitzgerald said.