Strengthen the effectiveness of government at all levels.
We owe a debt to past generations for building the infrastructure that supports the life of the city we know today. Our generation must also make its contribution by building far-sighted infrastructure that will enable the future city to work better than the one we inherited. Our task is to plan wisely, invest heavily, and build the infrastructure that Sydney will need in the future.
Stamp duty is not an efficient tax. By creating such a strong disincentive to sell, it reduces liquidity in the housing market and keeps empty nesters from downsizing. An annual land tax is a better system. NSW should phase out stamp duty, at least substantially, and replace it with a land tax.
The tax settings need to change in order to enable new businesses to grow while ensuring ongoing funding for government. NSW should eliminate payroll taxes and consumption taxes. The Australian Government should provide an investment allowance to offset our high corporate tax rate for firms investing in Australian R&D. These changes should be funded through reform to the base or rate of the GST.
Local government provides some critical public services and is on the front lines of making sure that Sydney grows in ways that enhance liveability, so we need it to work. This means moving to direct, popular election of mayors so that they have a mandate and an ability to do big things, and uncapping local government rates to increase local government capacity
There are great opportunities to use data and technology to make government and public services more efficient. These include opening up public sources of data to enable new applications and rethinking the way government procures and contracts to encourage new approaches.