Friday, March 27, 2015

NSW micro parties on housing

As well as the Labor Party, the Liberal-National Coalition and The Greens, there are numerous so-called 'micro parties' contesting the NSW State Election, particularly for seats in the Legislative Council (the State's upper house). A couple of these parties have agendas that relate to housing, so we'll wrap up our pre-election analysis by taking a look at them.

First: the Future Party.

The Future Party isn't standing any candidates for the lower house, and you won't find the party's name on the upper house ballot sheet either, but they are there as 'Group M'.

Housing policy is prominent in the Future Party's platform. They propose to increase the supply of housing by giving development a powerful spur: a broad-based land tax, accompanied by the abolition of stamp duty; and would push for reform of the tax treatment of housing at the Federal level too.

They also propose that this development should be achieved through higher densities and mixed land uses, with reduced planning controls in urban renewal sites, and the laying-on of mass transit and other infrastructure in greenfield sites. And they propose that some of this greenfield development take a very specific form: a new city. They've already got a name for it, too: Turing.

We say: well done to the Future Party, particularly on their excellent tax reform proposals. We tend to be dubious about proposals for increased density as an affordability measure, but are less so when they are accompanied by proposals for urban decentralisation, as the Future Party is also proposing. As for Turing: there is a long and honorable tradition of proposals for cities of tomorrow in housing policy, and a shortage of visionary politics in New South Wales, so good on the Future Party for putting it out there, even if Turing City appears likely to remain a hypothetical device.

The other micro party with a housing agenda is, of course, No Land Tax.

We've had lots to say about No Land Tax over the past few months here, so we'll keep it brief now.

No Land Tax's agenda is to make it easier for property owners to hoard property, to let speculation rip, and affordability can go to blazes.

It would be a terrible irony if this election, in which housing affordability has figured prominently – however imperfectly the major parties may have proposed to deal with the problem – were to have the result, because of the donkey vote and people being paid bonuses for votes, of delivering a seat in Parliament, or even a share in the balance of power in the upper house, to a party whose sole purpose is to make housing affordability worse.

Here's an idea for the future of NSW State Elections: get rid of how-to-votes, and bring on the Robson rotation!


  1. TURING .... The name evokes mostly the movie METROPOLIS or is it 1984?
    I hope they won't be relying on optical cable to run their tech hub
    ... but to be serious this form of housing is people with problems meeting people with more problems
    Scrap social housing for mutual obligation programs instead and then transition independent tenants to the private sector being careful not to inflate private market rents. the gap or leap from social housing is too wide. need a plan Stan.

  2. Robson Rotation .....
    did you check out ivote... first I had to install Chrome then you couldn't even see any parties after M. when I lodged my vote a tab came up ...there were some parties you didn't have the chance to consider ... who'd bother????


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