The Australian Real Estate & Construction industry continues to be a cornerstone of the local economy, encouraging innovation and growth around the country.

This was evident at the Property Council of Australia’s, 2016 Property Congress, which I was fortunate to attend in the idyllic setting of Hamilton Island. Over 700 property professionals from Australia and overseas gathered at the Congress to network, share ideas and attend some great thought leadership sessions.

The conference was again opened by The Hon. Jackie Trad MP, Queensland’s Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Trade and Investment, who had released only that day a draft of the much awaited South East Queensland Regional Plan. You can find out more about the plan here.

Day One of Congress focused on the development of cities for the future and explored the retail and residential sector in detail. Raynuha Sinnathamby from Springfield Land Corporation, (a long term client of Grant Thornton) was an expert panelist in the Residential Prophecies session.

Day Two was themed Thinking Big and Bold!  Presented by Adam Spencer, mathematician, innovation guru and entertainer, the message to leaders in the property business was to “keep up” with global innovation and to create work, living, and play spaces that utilise the technology available to us now and plan for what is coming. A huge take away for me from the day, was the comment that we are overusing the term innovation. It’s become a buzz word and rather than striving for “innovation” we should strive for “growth”; as growth is what innovation leads to.  Congratulations to the Property Council of Australia for pulling together such a quality industry event.

It’s been an interesting time in world politics as the very long and controversial race for the American presidency has been resoundingly decided.  It seems that 2016 will be known as the year of the silent majority – first Brexit and now President Trump!  What this will mean for the Australian property industry and wider economy remains to be seen, but we do know that Trump is all about Infrastructure and is looking at innovative ways of funding it. Perhaps the Australian Federal and State Governments might pick up some tips from him on new funding models that could be employed here.

American are large investors in Australian Property, behind Asia of late but still a large contributor of capital.  Hopefully Trump’s protectionist approach and attitude to America’s involvement in free trade agreements don’t have a flow on effect to discouraging investment dollars flowing our way. While that remains to be seen, we need to ensure Australia remains a contender in the competition for global capital. We should also be paying close attention to China’s assessment of what President Trump will mean for them and putting ourselves forward as an alternative destination for their capital placement, travel plans and education providers.

For this edition of our industry update we have put together a series of interesting articles for you to peruse, covering important issues in the Australian Real Estate & Construction industry, including:

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