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REIQ Journal : November 2008
2 Industry News FROM THE CHAIRMAN Peter McGrath, Chairman There is a saying that a week is a long time in politics, but over the past month, an hour has been a long time in the world economy. The Reserve Bank and the Federal Government should be applauded for responding to the crisis with a one percentage point drop in interest rates and the new First Home Owner Boost initiative respectively. financial system is strong The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) Financial Stability Review has concluded that Australia’s financial system is well-placed to withstand the current difficulties facing global financial markets. While Australia is not immune from global financial market turmoil, the report found that the Australian financial system is better-placed than most countries to weather the storm and highlights the strength of the local financial sector, which is well regulated. According to the RBA, the Australian banking sector continues to be highly profitable, in contrast to many banking sectors around the world. The system is soundly capitalised and the banks have high credit ratings and relatively little exposure to US sub-prime related assets or to market risk from trading activity. Problem loans also remain low (less than 1 per cent of all outstanding housing loans) by both international and historical standards. The RBA’s review follows the International Monetary Fund’s positive assessment of the strength of Australia’s banking and regulatory systems and the Rudd Government’s Budget settings. The Federal Government has taken further action recently in an attempt to boost Australia’s defences to the international turbulence and has been working with Australian regulators and authorities in other jurisdictions to act against detrimental short selling practices. While it will take some time for the world economy to acknowledge and accept its new levels, the current situation gives us as an industry an opportunity to help consolidate Queensland’s economy as well as our own businesses. Over the past nine decades, the REIQ and the industry have weathered world wars and recessions. Without the resiliency of our members and the industry during such turbulent times, Queensland wouldn’t be the place that it is today. The importance of the real estate industry to the health of the State’s economy should never be underestimated. I had the pleasure of attending the annual Real Estate Institute of New Zealand conference in Rotorua last month and would like to congratulate new president Mike Elford. The REIQ has again partnered with The Department of Child Safety for the 2009 Foster Child Christmas Present Drive. I encourage all members on the Gold Coast, Townsville, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Brisbane to take part in this initiative as this year more than ever foster children deserve to smile at Christmas. During my term as chairman of the Institute, I have hosted a number of functions but I can honestly say that the recent launch of Deeds, Dreams & Dedication: A History of the REIQ was one of the most pleasurable in my years at REIQ. To host so many life members, past presidents, former CEOS and retired senior staff, who all helped shape the Institute into what it is today, was a very humbling experience. The book is not only a very attractive commemoration of 90 years of the Institute, it is about the people who established the REIQ and who gave freely of their own time in numerous unpaid capacities. It captures the spirit of our members, the camaraderie of agents, and the enduring struggle to maintain a high standard of ethics and professionalism within our industry. I encourage all members to buy a copy of this limited edition book as it would make a magnificent addition to any office library. Peter McGrath CHAIRMAN REIQ Journal November 2008
December January 2009