Planning has the potential to be the biggest economical driver for the NSW economy - if we get the planning right

Leading national law practice Colin Biggers & Paisley together with a panel of industry leaders including Matthew Hassan, Senior Economist for Westpac, John Carfi, CEO of Aqualand, Ross Lees, Head of Funds at Centuria and Michael Cook, Senior Executive at Investa, recently explored the outlook for the economy and property industry at its bi-annual Property Think Tank in Sydney, moderated by Partner and Deputy Head of Property and Development, Duane Keighran.

Property Think Tank is a series of networking events developed by organisations with a common interest in supporting the Australian property market. It brings together industry leaders in a forum to grow their networks and promote innovative ideas and opportunities.
Matthew Hassan set the scene for the panel discussion with an overview of what will be shaping the macro and micro economic outlook for the year ahead. There are a number of factors at play; the global trade war and trade relations and the impact it will have on the Australian economy which relies heavily on exports; sluggish global growth; domestic growth that is short of the RBA's targets; slow wage growth and a housing market anchored by owner occupiers. 

The significant investment in metro and roads infrastructure by the NSW Government in and around the Sydney CBD, including North Sydney and Parramatta, has attracted the interest of private investors and developers. The panel agreed that the circa $11.5 billion Sydney Metro project is a "game changer", however planning and mixed-use developments in and around these areas is needed to drive the desired outcomes of the infrastructure the government is investing in. 

The pipeline of new commercial properties available is also very steady and the market is absorbing the very limited supply, particularly in the Sydney CBD and North Sydney. 

"If you're a tenant with surplus space, now is the time to get it on the market." Michael Cook, Senior Executive at Investa said. 

Whilst banks are pulling back from residential lending, they are still lending; just with lower Loan to Value Ratios than previously. The panel agreed that money is there "for the right product and the right opportunity" and that that Sydney office and industrial  are attractive for lenders, however residential lending still experiences some challenges in the current climate. 

To continue this conversation, Colin Biggers & Paisleys' property and development partners Rhett Oliver and Duane Keighran established a 'Property Think Tank' LinkedIn group. The forum delivers the latest updates, information and insights on relevant property matters as well as be an avenue to discuss and learn about changes to the legal framework and network with others in the industry.

Colin Biggers & Paisley would like to thank Aqualand for partnering with them on this event.

For more information please contact Linda Branton on 02 8281 4594 or

About Colin Biggers & Paisley

Colin Biggers & Paisley was founded over a century ago. Today we are a legal practice with 69 partners and 470 employees. We are highly regarded for our expertise in construction, insurance, property, government, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, banking and finance, corporate and commercial, employment and safety, planning and environment, restructuring and insolvency, transport and logistics. We act for major corporations, financial institutions, insurance companies, government departments and individuals. We have both the capacity and the expertise to deliver on complex national and multinational projects.

Colin Biggers & Paisley is based in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Through our growing Middle East Practice and our affiliation with ADVOC Asia, ADVOC International, ADVOC Europe and ADVOC Latin America, we are able to offer access to quality legal advice around the globe.

We launched the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation in 2015, with a core focus on promoting and protecting the rights of women and children in Australia and abroad through an innovative mix of pro bono legal services, volunteering and charitable 

This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2024.

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