Mark Steinert, CEO and Managing Director at Stockland, said:
"Stockland has welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to invest in major infrastructure projects and create new savings incentives for first home buyers as part of the 2017 Federal Budget.
“We strongly support the establishment of the First Home Super Savers' Scheme with new policies to allow and encourage first home buyers to direct up to $15,000 of their pre-tax income each year towards home deposit savings accounts as a constructive and supportive measure. Importantly, this does not affect compulsory superannuation, which should be preserved for retirement.
“Stockland sells more than 50 per cent of its land and completed homes to first home buyers, and has helped more than 4,000 first home buyers to climb onto the property ladder over the last 12 months alone.
“Encouraging greater participation in home ownership, particularly amongst first home buyers, is crucial to the health and vitality of our economy.
“We also strongly support the Federal Government’s commitment to fund major new infrastructure projects with new 'runways, roads and rail' and increased focus within this budget on the delivery of City Deals.
"We welcome the much-needed $844 million upgrades planned for the Bruce Highway, which will be particularly important for alleviating traffic congestion to the benefit of all residents and visitors to South East Queensland.
"It is very positive to see the government stay the course on its City Deals and expand the program to include infrastructure investment in its new Micro City Deals program. Aligning the delivery of infrastructure, housing and employment opportunities via planning initiatives is critical to address both affordability and liveability.
“Infrastructure is the best way to make more land viable for new housing because it will connect new communities with workplaces, education, healthcare and retail facilities.
“We agree with the Treasurer and the general view that the economy and wages growth will remain moderate at best for the foreseeable future, so we’ve positioned all of our property businesses to perform well in the prevailing economic conditions.
"It is also pleasing to see a fair and responsible approach to return the budget to surplus by 2021.
“We’re very interested in the Federal Government’s plans to lend funding to social housing and community housing providers. The government has seized the opportunity to allocate some government land, such as the former defence land at Maribyrnong in Melbourne, to a combination of free market and social housing schemes that will help to create more affordable housing in our major capital cities for key workers and low income earners.
"The affordable housing policies are positive and should help to address the affordability concerns of key workers.
"The policy regarding retirees being able to make lump sum contributions to super is sensible and will make it easier for retirees to downsize. This will go a long way towards enabling and empowering retirees to upsize lifestyle while downsizing the family home."