4 November 2020
WITH Queensland’s leadership confirmed for the next four years, it’s time to get back to business, with a focus on giving the building industry the tools it needs to drive Queensland’s post-COVID economic recovery.
The latest ABS Building Approvals for September clearly show that the residential sector is being successfully boosted by the HomeBuilder grant and Regional home building boost grant.
Master Builders Deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said the stimulus has effectively thrown the residential sector a lifeline, but now the re-elected ALP must target their sights on the commercial sector and red tape.
“The September results capped off three months of straight growth in the residential sector, with another 22 per cent gain for dwelling approvals, equating to $1.2 billion of residential work approved in just one month,” Mr Bidwell said.
“This has been helped by unit construction, some of which have accessed the HomeBuilder grant, turning around two months of negative growth with a massive doubling in the number of units approved (+56 per cent).
“Unfortunately, the story isn’t positive for the commercial sector, with the numbers clearly showing that commercial construction has been neglected when it comes to stimulus measures. “
Total work approved for non-residential projects more than halved over the month, which is a serious drag on the economy and a missed opportunity to allow the sector to do some of the heavy lifting in the construction-led recovery.
“We need the government to get on with spending its committed $14 billion and direct more to public buildings which can have the more immediate stimulus impact by putting more people to work straight away.
“Now that we have an election result, we’ll continue the discussions we’ve been having over the last eight months to ensure the building industry is well-placed and supported so it can play its role in the post-COVID recovery.
“In the lead up to the election, a lot of promises and announcements were made; however, neither major party really took our calls for reform seriously – the focus was firmly on stimulus.
“Our message to the re-elected government remains clear: it can’t be all about stimulus. They must address the red tape and impractical processes that stop us from doing what we do best.”
Master Builders’ top priorities for the first 100 days are:
- Ensuring public buildings, such as schools and hospitals, get their fair share of the Palaszczuk government’s $14B capital works program.
- Providing a clearer picture of the three-year building pipeline. Commercial builders need visibility to not only boost confidence but to allow them to plan accordingly.
- Scrapping the Best Practice Principles and Minimum Conditions policy for major state government projects, to stop regional Queenslanders paying more than they should for public buildings.
- Scrap plans to introduce the next wave of contentious security of payment regulations.
- Shake-up the QBCC to ensure that it wields its powers fairly.
“Without solid commitments on these issues, we can kiss a post-COVID recovery led by the building industry goodbye,” Mr Bidwell said.
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