State Budget serves up more of a snack than a meal for the building industry

15 June 2021

BUILDERS have welcomed the solid capital works spend outlined in today’s 2021-22 State Budget – but the threat of additional red tape and the continued lack of a visible pipeline of work has left the industry hungry for more.

With over 230,000 Queenslanders employed in building and construction, the industry continues to keep the cogs of the economy turning, generating $28 billion for the state’s coffers – close to one tenth of the total.

The industry is continuing to deal with labour and materials shortages and cost hikes resulting from welcome but unprecedented demand driven by government stimulus, such as HomeBuilder and the Regional Home Building boost, ultra-low interest rates and strong interstate migration, leaving the residential housing sector in disarray.

“With the commercial sector continuing to languish, the Palaszczuk government’s commitment to invest $14.7 billion in 2021-22 on capital works projects including over $1 billion on 10 new schools, plus hundreds of millions upgrading existing schools, is a welcome relief – but as was the case with last year’s budget, builders remain without a clear picture of the pipeline of work over the coming years,” Master Builders Deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said.

“However, the government seems insistent on sticking with its so-called Best Practice Principles for major government projects, despite the growing chorus of protest around Queensland taxpayers forking out at least 30 per cent more, no matter whether they’re in regional or metropolitan areas.”

“The budget commitment to invest $1 billion into a new Housing Investment Fund to drive supply of social housing will go a long way to support our quickly-growing communities,” Mr Bidwell said.

With the ABS recording 30,000 new residents moving from the southern states to Queensland last year alone – and projecting 800,000 new homes will be needed across South East Queensland over the next 25 years, Mr Bidwell said the last thing the industry needed was more red tape hampering its efforts.

“Away from the Budget, the push by Minister for Public Works and Procurement Mick de Brenni for mandatory accessible housing standards in the 2022 National Construction Code will spell housing affordability disaster for new home builders. If it’s introduced in its current form, it will impose what’s essentially an $8,000 tax on already-stretched first home buyers, placing their dreams of a new home further out of reach.”

Here's what our Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell had to say in response to the budget:

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