There have been a number of key developments over the past fortnight.
This week, the federal government released the Employment White Paper, detailing measures the Albanese government will implement to assist the three million people who want jobs or more hours of work. A good summary can be found in this article in The Conversation. A number of industry associations have welcomed many of the aspects of the document, but not the sweeping IR changes that it discusses. I’ll let ACIF Member associations digest what it all means for the construction industry, arrive at a considered view and we’ll discuss it at our next Member Meeting in Canberra.
Former Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a goal of building 800,000 new homes over 10 years and 2.24 million additional homes by 2051. It will be interesting to see if the new Victorian premier Jacinta Allan sticks with these goals. As mentioned in this article by Dr Paulo Vaz-Serra, Senior Lecturer In Construction Management at the University of Melbourne, there are number of significant issues with these type of ambitious housing plans in Victoria and elsewhere.
The 2023-24 NSW State Budget was delivered. One welcome part of this was $24 million allocated to establish the NSW Building Commission. The plan is for an initial team of more than 400 staff to work with Commissioner David Chandler continue to reform the industry and improve building quality. The Budget also promises a $2.2 billion investment to pay for more housing, critical infrastructure and better planning for housing.
Finally, the federal Labor Government’s $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund will be established within weeks after the government secured the Greens’ support with the promise of an extra $1 billion for a separate public housing fund following months of negotiations.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed recently that the number of people living in the country grew by 563,200 in the 12 months to the end of March this year, taking the total population to 26.5 million. To some degree, this growth makes up for Covid border closures. However, our nation is changing at a rapid pace, and federal and state governments and industry need to work closely together to successfully navigate these changes.
Dr James Cameron
ACIF Executive Director