On Friday last week, the 9th of June, there was a Building Ministers’ Meeting and the communiqué can be read here. It was pleasing to read that “Ministers noted the significant economic challenges facing the building industry including supply chain, cost and workforce pressures, which have led to insolvencies in the sector.” Also, “Ministers noted the work undertaken by the Commonwealth, state and territory senior officials and the ABCB to identify factors constraining the market at the moment, as well as possible opportunities to bolster capacity and alleviate cost pressures.”
Compounding the above, according to HIA analysis with ABS data, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s first interest rate hike in May last year was a key factor in reducing more than 2000 builds from Victoria’s new home pipeline in April this year. ABS figures show Victoria approved 3209 new houses, townhouses and units in April this year, compared to 5250 at the same time a year ago.
A possible silver lining is that following residential building company Porter Davis going into administration, the Victorian government has announced a range of reforms for the construction sector, including enhancing the powers of the Victorian Building Authority. The Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 will be amended by the State government to strengthen domestic building insurance requirements.
Further, under reforms proposed by an independent panel, Queensland’s developers would have to be accredited, follow a code of conduct, and meet new education and accountability standards. The panel was initiated by the Queensland Government to review the role of developers in the construction industry, and is said to have consulted widely on the issues and possible solutions.
Finally, this article by Christina Yiakkoupis, Chair of ACIF member, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), is good food for thought.
Dr James Cameron
ACIF Executive Director