The Property Council of Australia on Thursday reemphasized the importance of property industry in the state as it aired its sentiments regarding the Victiorian Opposition’s plans of establishing a Population Commission.

The Property Council said that it will welcome the initiative, provided that turns out to be blueprint for comprehensive infrastructure investment. Victorian Executive Director Cressida Wall also addressed political leaders and reminded them to commit to creating great cities for current and future generations of Victorians.

“If the proposed Population Commission is focused on where we need to be as a State and across local communities, then we are supportive,” she remarked.

“However, if it is simply about turning out the lights, it’s a recipe for soaring house prices, a broken property industry and puts thousands of jobs at risk.”

Providing work for 331,000 people in Victoria, the property industry is the state’s biggest employer.

Wall added that those in power should not be sidetracked by population targets, decentralisation policies or migration adjustments. They can very well build on the strength of the state – the ability to create great cities for current and future Victorians.

 “It’s not the Victorians looking for a home who need fixing; it’s the infrastructure deficits and the planning challenges, that governments need to address urgently,” she said.

Moreover, the Property Council is not confident about how the establishment of a Population Commission goes hand in hand with the Coalition’s announcement in July proposing to fast track planning approvals and release 290,000 lots in Victoria’s growth areas by 2020.

Melbourne is not “jam packed,” according to the council – directly refuting language used by the Liberal party. For the council, the country’s future depends on its cities and their ability to become high amenity, high livability engines of the economy.

More importantly, households need homes and communities, and they might not be able to wait for the deliberations of a Population Commission.

“With an upcoming State Election, it’s vital that politicians look ahead and show the courage to make tough, long-term decisions to ensure Victoria’s prosperity and livability,” concluded Wall.

The Population Commission will  work with both state and federal governments, in order to evaluate and determine the likely population levels for Victoria in 2025, 2030, 2040, 2050, 2060, 2070, 2080, 2090 and 2100.

The Liberal party said that the Commission will also work with local councils to measure how population is likely to change over the same time periods and how it should be managed in each Local Government Area, including regional cities to make sure that Victoria and Melbourne’s population growth is sustainable and maintains liveability.