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REIQ Journal : September 2008
8 Celebrating 90 years The 1990s of REIQ the Dave Allen was president when the REIQ moved into the last decade of the twentieth-century and the opening lines of his president’s report indicated that it had been a tough year in the industry. The only thing that saved Queensland, to a certain extent, was continued high levels of interstate migration, which “helped keep house prices stable”. High interest rates saw house sales drop by a staggering 40 per cent during a 12 month period. The controversial airline strike almost crippled Cairns and other tourist destinations in Queensland, with canny investors snapping up bargain prices for properties forced onto the market. But as interest rates slowly came back down and investors realised the taxation benefits of negative gearing, consumer confidence returned to the market. There were now 18 branches established within the Institute, including one dedicated to commercial and industrial real estate. There were 18 board members and Mr Allen stated that increasing membership numbers was a major goal for 1991. The head office for the REIQ was now at Turbo Drive in Coorparoo; the third such home for the Institute. It was formerly a building owned by white goods manufacturer Malleys and was bestowed with third prize in an architecture competition in 1970. The time came to decentralise the operations of the Institute and Mr Allen announced in his 1991 annual report that a regional office would be opened in Far North Queensland. In the submission for the establishment of such a centre, it was noted that the distance from Brisbane to Cairns was greater than Brisbane to Melbourne, and that the Townsville and Cairns branch areas collectively totalled an area greater than Victoria. When the 1995 annual report was produced, Ray Milton was at the helm. His report was focused squarely on the Australian Workers Union (AWU), which was trying to muscle in on the incumbent organisations that were already looking after workers in the real estate industry. Nothing much changed on the political front; the government was still sitting on its hands and MrMilton noted: “The abundance of talk and the lack of action on the part of the Queensland Government cannot pass without mention ... Government, at all levels, seems to be treating this industry with disdain, focussing on it only when they need to increase more taxes through stamp duty, rates or other propertyrelated charges.” Multilist had spawned a new data-based computer system called REALNET and the industry adjusted to the realisation that computerisation was now a major force. Cheif executive officer Don McKenzie had been advocating a reduction of the size of the board in the mid to late 80s and his perseverance finally paid off with board numbers reduced from 18 to eight. This information is taken from ‘Deeds, Dreams and Dedication: The History of the REIQ’, which is due for release next month. REIQ Journal September 2008