Despite our relative good fortunes as Australians, our Governments continue to look at anti-immigration policies for votes.
Recently I was privileged to meet and hear the stories of a number of asylum seekers suspended in the very long process of having their fate decided for them. Among them were dental specialists, nurses, filmmakers and tradespeople - all who were not only in awe of this country, but desperately wanting to contribute productively with their skills.
Ensuring we have housing solutions for our increasing population is of vital importance to our continued social and economic success in Australia.
Unlocking new areas through investment in infrastructure and simplifying the nightmare that many of our planning and approval systems represent, is vital in providing more opportunities for all.
Whatever your politics - its hard to ignore the volume of people who want to contribute and amalgamate into our Australian communities and its the responsibility of our Governments to address this opportunity for growth rather than taking the easy way out and simply locking the gates.
An adequate and appropriate response to population growth is one that ensures both newcomers and well-established residents can live affordably with adequate and appropriate amenity, proximate to jobs and community. Key tasks for policy makers at every level of government therefore lie in the seemingly mundane but vitally important areas of planning, infrastructure and land release. Planning systems have become increasingly complex, unpredictable and inconsistent between even just different local governments, let alone different states. State governments have drastically reduced housing-related infrastructure investment over the past 20 to 30 years, transferring the financial burden onto the private sector, specifically new housing developers, adding to the cost of new housing. The overall conclusion is that the industry is significantly constrained in its ability to adequately and affordably respond to the growing housing and related needs of a growing population.