On 21 June, Committee for Melbourne Foundation members were treated to an exclusive lunch with Victorian Treasurer Mr Tim Pallas MP for the fifth consecutive year, again kindly hosted by EY.
The Treasurer shared the thinking behind his fifth budget and his new economic development portfolio. He was joined for a candid panel discussion on the future of housing, planning for growth, and digital capability with EY Chief Economist, Jo Masters, The University of Melbourne’s Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning, Dr Crystal Legacy, and Lendlease’s Managing Director of Urban Regeneration, John Burton OBE.
Despite the $5.2 billion stamp duty shortfall, the Treasurer highlighted the Government’s determination to honour its election commitments and not to make excuses for inaction.
He was quick to point out that Victoria continues to power the Australian economy, partly thanks to the $107 billion infrastructure investment this year alone to accommodate our rapid population growth, and to improve mobility services. In more good news, regional Victoria has the lowest unemployment rate in history at 4.1 per cent.
The Treasurer explained that the new economic development portfolio, driven through Invest Victoria, is a new whole-of-government approach designed to transform the way the government approaches investment attraction, and economic development more broadly.
While Victoria’s surpluses are the largest in the nation, State Government debt will increase as a result of the construction of the North East Link, an additional 25 level crossing removals, the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, and the Suburban Rail Loop.
In the panel discussion, the Treasurer foreshadowed significant progress on a range of housing policies by the next budget. He also acknowledged the need to maintain our prized liveability, which should not be compromised by runaway economic growth.
The Committee for Melbourne wishes to thank Mr Pallas and the distinguished panel members for their excellent insights and for giving so generously of their time.
Read Committee for Melbourne's 2019/20 State Budget briefing note.
View the event photos.