Dictator Dan Andrews, Premier of Victoria, leads Australia on a number of issues.
When it comes to arrogance, incompetence, dishonesty and bad governance, there’s no politician anywhere in Australia, at any level of government, who can match Dan in any of those areas.
Announcing this time last year that Regional Victoria would host the Commonwealth Games, that it wouldn’t cost much and the benefits would be huge – and then 12 months later scrapping the Games, claiming they would cost too much and there would be no benefits – that alone marks Dictator Dan as a politician setting new standards in bizarre behaviour and stunning incompetence.
But there’s a lot more to worry about with this obnoxious individual – he has single-handedly made Victoria a No Go Zone for property investors – passing laws that are onerous to property owners and have significantly increased their costs of ownership, increasing stamp duty for certain types of purchases, announcing big increases in land tax and then announcing plans to bring in a rental cap.
So, having massively increased the costs for property owners, he is declaring that those owners cannot increase their price.
And when told that large numbers of investor owners were selling up and getting out of Victoria, his response was, basically: Good riddance to them, if they want to sell, who cares!”
Well, I can tell you who cares, Dictator Dan – the one-third of Victoria residents who need to rent.
Rental properties are already scarce, with vacancies at all-time lows in most places in Victoria.
New research shows that Melbourne’s tenants have 23% fewer homes to choose from this winter than they did a year ago.
The latest PropTrack Rental Report has revealed that the decline in listings of Melbourne homes for rent on realestate.com.au is the biggest drop in any Australian capital.
PropTrack chief economist Cameron Kusher said Melbourne’s rental market outlook was getting worse, with just 1.4% of rental homes currently vacant.
Listings now are less than half what they were in January 2021.
But the Victoria Premier is making that bad situation worse.
He has taken a rental shortage crisis and is turning it into a catastrophe for young people and others in his state who need to find somewhere to live.
A rental cap is no use to someone if they can’t find anywhere to rent, at any price.
Here’s one of Dictator Dan’s responses when told investor owners were abandoning his state:
He said: “This is a market economy. It’s not for me to provide property advice to anybody. They bought the place without my advice and they can manage without my advice.”
He’s wrong about a number of things, but particularly his claims that it’s a market economy.
What he’s doing is making it a government-controlled economy. He has artificially increased the costs of property owners and then plans to control the price they can charge for their product. That is NOT a market economy.
But this arrogant behaviour by Dictator Dan is just a continuation of a well-established pattern.
His government is about to hit Victorians with a 50th new or increased tax as it continues to try to cut its debt, caused largely by Dictator Dan’s over-the-top Covid responses which made Melbourne the most locked-down city on Planet Earth.
New analysis shows that since coming to power in 2014, the Dictator Dan government has introduced 49 new or increased charges.
And now he says a tourism tax, including a possible Airbnb levy, will be introduced.
If implemented, it would be the state’s 50th new or increased tax in nine years, despite Andrews vowing on the eve of the 2014 election to NOT introduce any new taxes.
That’s worth repeating: he promised no new taxes and he has brought in 50 separate new or increased taxes.
They include a 41% increase in workers’ compensation premiums and the second highest total payroll tax intake in the nation.
Australian Industry Group Victorian chief Tim Piper says the number of government imposed fees has left Victorian businesses concerned about their competitiveness and ability to survive.
Victoria overall is Australia’s the highest-taxed state, according to a parliamentary budget office analysis, which said the Victoria State Government collects over $5,000 per person in state taxes.
At the same time, this government is planning to axe the first home owner grant, which offers $10,000 to first home buyers of newly built homes that are worth up to $750,000.
And now it seems we can add corruption to Dictator Dan’s list of sins.
Victoria’s corruption watchdog has found that a major property developer gained repeated “privileged access” to Daniel Andrews and his most senior ministers in return for donations to the Labor Party.
The 308-page report, released after a five-year inquiry, found evidence of “improper conduct” at state and local government level, exposing “corruption in planning, political donations, lobbying and governance”, and called for a new laws to strengthen anti-corruption controls in Victoria.
The watchdog has recommended a wholesale overhaul of Victoria’s planning and development system.
Dictator Dan has, of course, brushed that off – as he does with all criticisms of himself or his government.
The bottom line is that he has made the ownership of real estate in Victoria increasingly unappealing, causing owners to sell up – and, based on his media responses, the Victoria Premier doesn’t give a damn.
And the big losers will be people who need a plan to rent in Melbourne or regional Victoria.