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Builders respond to Budget Reply

Market Insights
1 month ago
2 minutes

Building enough homes for all Australians is again at the centre of Federal policy decisions, with the Opposition’s Budget reply acknowledging the critical importance of addressing housing supply challenges, said Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn.

“To solve the housing crisis, we need to see action beyond the housing portfolio with skills, migration, infrastructure, industrial relations, defence, social services, and industry portfolios pulling in the same direction.

“Builders applaud the Opposition for calling out the damaging impacts of recent industrial relations reforms and commitment to remove this complex legislation and provide more certainty for business.

“The Government’s recent industrial relations legislation ultimately make home building more expensive and blow out supporting infrastructure projects.

“Recent modelling found under a best-case scenario, new industrial relations laws will see at least 15,000 fewer homes and almost 8,000 fewer jobs and cost the economy over $113 billion over the next five years.

“Master Builders welcomes the Opposition’s decision to extend and expand the instant asset write-off for small business to $30,000, $10,000 more than the Government’s policy but more support is needed.

“The viability of the building and construction industry remains key to bringing down inflation and boosting economic growth.

“We must reduce the time it takes to build and minimise increasing construction cost blowouts in infrastructure, commercial and housing projects. These costs are ultimately passed on to consumers or taxpayers.

“We know higher than anticipated migration levels have exacerbated an already constrained housing system, but the Opposition has rightfully not shut the door on the very tradies we need to build more homes.

“The industry needs half a million new workers over the next three to five years which we cannot fill domestically alone - skilled migration represents a vital piece of the puzzle.

“Both major parties have this week committed to ensuring Australia is an attractive destination for skilled migrant tradies.

“With considerable numbers of older workers retiring from the construction industry each week, the pressure to replace their decades of experience and upskilling is considerable.

“We welcome incentives to encourage older workers back into the workforce without reducing pension payments.

“As we gear up for the Federal Election, both major parties are now on notice to produce a plan to ensure that all policy levers are being pulled in the same direction to strengthen the industry and boost housing supply,” Ms Wawn said.