Building industry forgotten in Federal Budget
Published: 9 May 2012
Last night’s hand down of the Federal Budget has seen the building industry forgotten, with no genuine measures announced that will stimulate building activity, according to Master Builders, Queensland’s peak body for housing and construction.
Master Builders Executive Director, Graham Cuthbert, said the building and construction industry was only at the beginning of a very slowly emerging recovery and is in desperate need of measures that will encourage building activity.
“Our industry is currently operating at 40% below normal levels, with commencement levels currently expected to reach between 26,000 and 28,000 this financial year, compared to pre-GFC levels which saw commencements sitting between 36,000 and 40,000 per year,” Mr Cuthbert said.
“The latest building approvals figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics tell us the building industry has just commenced a slow recovery, but given the low base we are coming from, we had high hopes for stimulus measures in last night’s budget announcement.
“We’d anticipated the announcement of measures that would coincide with the recent cut to interest rates and help to boost business and consumer confidence, such as a decision to increase and re-focus the First Home Buyers Grant to new homes only.
“Instead, there has been a deafening silence and a lack of any real measures that will provide support for our industry.
“Disappointingly, there was no announcements about offsetting the price of the carbon tax specifically on new housing stock and the decision to forego company tax relief, which will severely impact the bottom line for many building and construction businesses.
“We believe these decisions, along with the absence of stimulus measures, will drive consumers further away, impact negatively on housing activity, and contribute to the growing gap between new and existing housing prices.
“Our industry has faced some tough times over the last few years and, if we are to move forward, urgent government action is required.”
Read Master Builders Federal Budget hot topic report.
Julie Russell, Manager – Corporate Affairs via email or phone (07) 3225 6436 or 0414 083 191