The NSW O’Farrell government is facing an interesting dilemma – does it borrow and risk losing its precious triple-A credit rating or sell off state assets? I’m sure everyone has mixed feelings about which is the smarter alternative, although I must admit I favour losing the triple-A credit rating for one simple reason: it makes the government leaner and meaner. Business is run under that economic philosophy, so why not the NSW government?
There is nothing wrong with infrastructure funding questions given that in previous governments the taxpayer waste defied all logic, e.g. the failed/aborted Rozelle Metro, for which the previous NSW government wasted $500 million and all for no gain. The O’Farrell government has $53 billion earmarked for transport and roads infrastructure and services over the next four years – Rebuilding NSW: 20-year vision.
You may be surprised to learn that on November 19 to 20 the 4th Annual NSW Major Projects Conference 2012 is being held, where they will state the obvious. “New South Wales is entering an exciting time of renewal as the challenges to build and exceed beyond its past achievements is reaching critical tipping point. The NSW economy has grown to become the largest and most diverse economy in Australia, contributing one third of the nation’s gross domestic product and is home to 32% of Australia’s population, with even more significant population growth on the near horizon.”
One would be correct in asking why NSW holding is just its fourth annual NSW major projects conference when it should be around the 24th. The simple answer is that due to "no infrastructure" under the previous government, in all probability it was formed from pure desperation to simply get something happening. City might appear to be down, but it is far from out, which takes me to James Packer’s article – For the good of Sydney, back this plan – a very interesting read, and I back his plan.
The biggest news for the property market this week was Macquarie Group takes Yellow Brick Road into home loans market, which will cause Yellow Brick Road to go head-to-head with the big four banks. Under the deal, Yellow Brick Road will try to undercut the big banks by offering a 1.15 percentage point discount on all new homes in the first 12 months of the loan. The big four have actively acquired all the second-tier banks to protect their market share, which is approximately 80% of the Australian home loan market. It should also be noted that most of the biggest real estate agencies within Australia bank with Macquarie Bank (us included), so this announcement provides Macquarie Bank with direct access to Australia’s biggest and most successful real estate agencies. I will make a prediction Yellow Brick Road will be the first bank to respond to a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).