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Keep building going
With thousands of job losses and a significant reduction in building activity on the horizon, swift and decisive action was needed with immediate and fast-tracked stimulus measures to generate demand and confidence and immediately kick-start building activity.
The building industry faced a looming crisis that will impact us beyond the immediate effect of COVID-19 lockdowns and directives. While the restrictions have been felt by the industry, this could be mitigated with swift and decisive action from the Queensland Government.
In Queensland, builders and tradies were set to run out of new work in the next few months if nothing was done.
While the building industry has been fortunate to remain open, the lack of confidence caused by the COVID pandemic, the state of building activity before COVID-19 even hit was the real concern. Queensland building activity dropped 26.5% during 2019, to 31,100 commencements, and many business were already struggling on the back of a slow 2019.
If nothing had been done, the job losses and impact on small business would have sent catastrophic waves through the community, particularly in the face of the job losses already seen in hospitality and retail.
To safeguard thousands of jobs and small businesses, we called on the Queensland Government to supercharge and fast-track their stimulus measures even further.
The federal and state government's responded to our calls with a variety of relief and stimulus measures targeted at the industry.
Despite numerous and constructive discussions with the Queensland Government since the border closure announcement in August 2020 (with some important amendments and considerations made), we have lobbied for further amendments to the border restrictions.
These changes would go a long way to allowing the building and construction industry to continue to run their businesses and meet their contractual obligations; while at the same time supporting Queensland’s economic recovery.
Our stimulus calls
New look grant for new home builds
Increase the size of the First Home Owners’ Grant and expanding its eligibility to include anyone ready to purchase (build) a new home.
Home renovation funding programs
Bring back the Household Resilience Program to create work for the residential renovation sector and deliver long-term benefits for the community. The program (which ran from July 2018 – November 2019) was a resounding success in improving the resilience of 1,748 homes in cyclone-impacted regions from Bundaberg to Cairns, as well as delivering significant insurance benefit to homeowners.
Bring forward public spending
Increase government capital expenditure on public buildings, with the initial focus on refurbishments and maintenance to get the projects moving quickly. And accelerate spending on existing budgeted projects.
These measures will help bring back confidence for consumers and businesses and turn the tide on the current wave of contract and tender cancellations or withdrawals. The government faces an enormous challenge, but these stimulus measures cannot wait.
While the government has announced measures that will assist businesses with the impact of COVID-19, we’re urging them to do even more. It’s a crucial time for them to consider both stimulus and relief measures that will assist businesses and stimulate demand and confidence in both the short and long-term.
We’re also calling on government to consider relief measures such as:
- Delaying any new building industry legislation or regulation until 2021
- Committing to not charging liquidated damages on commercial projects where delays are related to COVID-19.
Solutions that create demand and inject confidence back into the community to encourage consumers and investors to build new homes or invest in new projects, are desperately needed.