Regional Queensland bears brunt of falling building numbers

8 November 2018

THINGS are going from bad to worse for regional Queensland as the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal another fall in building approvals across the state.

While South East Queensland appears to be escaping the worst of the downturn, up three per cent for the 12 months to September, regional Queensland is continuing its downward trajectory, dropping 14.7 per cent across the year, and 22.6 per cent in the last month alone.

Master Builders’ Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell says the figures speak volumes and add weight to our call to bring back the $5,000 Boost to the First Home Owners’ Grant to regional Queensland.

“The Boost was a vital tool for first home buyers to get a foot in the door of the housing market. Without it, home ownership has been put even further out of reach,” Mr Bidwell said.

“Many regional Master Builders say the Boost was an essential part of their business model, describing the cut as a “tough blow”, that their business was “really struggling” and that new buyers were “noticeably dropping off”.

And these sentiments are reflected in the latest ABS figures, with Central Queensland taking the hardest hit, dropping a further 44.1 per cent last month from an already record-low position.

It was also more bad news for North Queensland and Downs and Western falling 17.9 per cent and 10.7 per cent respectively for the month, while areas like Mackay and Far North Queensland, which have been seeing some growth lately, also down 55.3 per cent and 28.9 per cent, respectively.

“This gives us further ammunition for our appeal to the Queensland Government and the Treasurer to reinvest the mining royalties’ windfall back into regional areas,” Mr Bidwell said.

“Re-introducing the boost would cost government in the ballpark of $13 million per year, but would generate more than 2,000 jobs in the regions.

“Building new homes builds communities, creates jobs and delivers economic growth where it’s needed most. While the Boost won’t create a boom, it will give the building and construction industry the shot in the arm and helping hand it needs. “

The Boost, an initiative by the Queensland Government, took the Grant from $15,000 to $20,000. But with the money not allocated for the Boost in the 2018-19 State Budget, it was cut from June 30.

REGION
(original data)

NUMBER APPROVED

Current month

Previous month

% change over MONTH

Total current 12 months

Total previous 12 months

% change over YEAR

Greater Brisbane

1,758

2,024

-13.1%

25,170

23,300

8.0%

Gold Coast

363

804

-54.9%

6,352

6,383

-0.5%

Sunshine Coast

341

435

-21.6%

4,410

5,198

-15.2%

Downs & Western

92

103

-10.7%

1,342

1,645

-18.4%

Wide Bay Burnett

123

126

-2.4%

1,558

1,686

-7.6%

Central Qld

19

34

-44.1%

443

633

-30.0%

Mackay & Whitsunday

38

85

-55.3%

573

333

72.1%

North Qld

55

67

-17.9%

656

894

-26.6%

Far North Qld

64

90

-28.9%

1,477

1,472

0.3%

Source Master Builders & ABS

ENDS

Media enquiries:

Christine Buzzard, Digital Communications Advisor at christine.buzzard@mbqld.com.au or 3225 6418
Julie Russell, Manager Communications & Media via email at julie.russell@mbqld.com.au or on 3225 6436
Leah Kidd, Communications Advisor at leah.kidd@mbqld.com.au or 3225 6424

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