On Friday last week, I attended a National Coordination Mechanism meeting, which brought together disaster recovery agencies and construction industry associations to discuss how the construction industry could assist in the recovery process. Given the current skills and materials shortages, the rebuilding that will be needed has come at a difficult time for the industry. The local construction industry in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales is calling for assistance from outside the area. In NSW, as a result of the floods around 3000 houses are uninhabitable, and in Queensland around 5000 homes cannot be returned to, and 2000 homes severely are damaged. There is also extensive damage to many shops, schools, community facilities and roads. The scale of the recovery effort will be significant to say the least. Industry is keen to assist in whatever way we can to get people housed as quickly as possible, and key services up and running.
Thankfully, buyers are coming forward for parts of Probuild’s business, at least in Victoria and Western Australia So let’s hope that things can get back to normal on Probuild construction sites around the country very soon.
The recent passing away of cricket legend Shane Warne and Senator Kimberley Kitching, both at the relatively young age of 52, has shocked and saddened Australians. It’s a wake-up call for all of us to prioritise our health, both physical and mental. Many in the construction industry at the moment are working punishing hours, and it’s not sustainable for extended periods. My father died of a heart attack at 55, and such events have a devasting impact on family, friends and colleagues.
Dr James Cameron
ACIF Executive Director
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