Australia’s own population isn’t enough for the country to achieve economic recovery
Relying on just local Australian population growth as opposed to overseas immigration will weigh heavily on the country’s economy and future economic growth, says Meriton Founder and managing director Harry Triguboff, who urges Australia to reopen its borders soon. “We used to bring in 150,000 migrants, and now we have 150,000 infants. They do not have the same effect on the economy. 150,000 new migrants require new homes so as soon as they come, they rent, and in due course they marry and buy an apartment. The new immigrants will also start having children soon, whereas the infants will not for at least 25 years. So, we must bring back migrant at once, and by bringing in migrants we also get a big boost in population.”
The stats agree. Australia’s population growth has been the slowest in this fiscal year in over 100 years due to border closures, and it has taken a toll on the country’s economy. The loss is already impacting housing constructions, infrastructure plans, government revenue, as well as long term economic growth due to the absence of migrants from the workforce, according a latest Deloitte report.
International students and tourists are also critical, points out Mr.Triguboff. International students and tourists inject over $60 billion into Australia’s economy each year and support hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs. With tens of thousands of temporary visa holders stranded overseas due to border closure, it casts a major shadow on Australia’s plan to recover. While the government is finalizing the details to bring international students back to the country, Mr.Triguboff urges actions must be taken immediately in order for the country to get back to normal, “We must bring them back at once, and others must follow.”
While Mr. Triguboff praises the Government in supporting local Australians, especially the first home buyers, to achieve their property dreams, he doesn’t think it is enough. Higher levels of unemployment create uncertainty, therefore deterring people from buying, and heavy land tax still exists, impacting the sale of lands which restricts the supply of the new apartments. Supply is set to plunge by 81% as projects are delayed or cancelled due to COVID-19. As a result, it will mean significant job losses, and a future housing shortage.
“Until the economy starts moving nothing will move. The government handouts are wonderful, but they don’t get the economy moving. We must go back to the way things were as fast as possible then add new ideas. We stopped everything and want to change from scratch, that is not working and it can’t work.” Says Mr. Triguboff.
He further points out the rise in popularity of working from home and the loss of population are impacting commercial buildings and infrastructure construction, which proves the government should shift its focus into supporting the residential industry, “The Government needs to rethink land tax and stamp duty for the market to pick up again, and the economy will not grow until the market picks up. For the market to pick up we need to open borders within Australia, reduce crazy land tax, and get rid of the stamp duty imposed on foreign buyers. Everything has to be fixed by professionals and we cannot be ignored. The government did a wonderful job with COVID-19, and now we must finish the job.”
Though faced with challenges, Mr Triguboff is confident that his Meriton will continue its mission to building more quality apartments to home seekers, “This is why we at Meriton keep on building because we’ve had problems before, but they have always been overcome.”