13 December 2023
Master Builders Australia applauds the Federal Government’s commitment to tackling inflation and boosting housing supply in today’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) but stresses all policy levers to tackle the housing crisis must be pulling in the same direction.
CEO Denita Wawn said: “A strong building industry means a strong economy. Every $1 million worth of building activity supports around $3 million in activity across the economy.”
“We know that one of the biggest challenges in tackling inflation and cost of living is from pressures in the housing market, including rental inflation.
“From social and community housing, rental properties to owner-occupiers, there is a common constraint – supply.
“The focus to solving the housing crisis is two-fold: getting inflation back under control, which will ease interest rates and fostering an environment conducive to investment and development.
“We’re pleased to see $6.5 billion in funding commitments made to improve housing supply and affordability.”
Funding has been secured for previously announced measures, including $2 billion through the Social Housing Accelerator, $1 billion to National Housing Infrastructure Facility, $3 billion for the New Home Bonus and $500 million to establish the Housing Support Program.
“We thank the efforts of the Treasurer and Minister Julie Collins, who are using appropriate fiscal levers to address some of the biggest bottlenecks across the housing spectrum.
“It’s now up to the states to follow through on their commitments to address challenges within the planning and approvals system.
“Builders and tradies have a big job ahead of them to ensure we can build enough homes to meet our Housing Accord objectives.
“On a policy front, further efforts are needed to lift economic growth, especially in building and construction, with a turbocharged productivity agenda.”
“We need to ensure tradies are spending as much time as possible on the tools without unnecessary delays and disruptions.
“The industry will continue to work closely with governments at all levels to ensure we can put further downward pressure on the cost of building and the time it takes to build.
“This can be done by kickstarting private investment and reducing the cost of building homes through better approaches to planning, reducing backlogs, minimising taxes and charges, and improving productivity in the industry by simplifying building regulations and the industrial relations environment.
“However, builders warn that the Federal Government needs to ensure all portfolios are singing from the same hymn sheet.
“There is too much at stake here and other policies on the table such as the Closing Loopholes Bill threaten the industry’s ability to get through this housing crisis.
“As we have travelled around the country over the last eight weeks, builders, independent contractors and subcontractors are telling us they will either have to lift prices for consumers or simply cannot continue to run their business if these changes become law,” Ms Wawn said.
“A well-functioning and responsive VET sector, coupled with a simplified skilled migration system is fundamental to the success of the building and construction industry.
“With a need of half a million new workers in the next 3-5 years, the domestic workforce simply cannot meet these targets in the short-term and skilled migration will play a key role in plugging that gap.
“The Government has started to make inroads here but there is still more to be done to make Australia an attractive destination for tradies,” Ms Wawn said.
“Government-driven infrastructure work is currently providing crucial support to the liveability of our communities and our industry.
“Maintaining this brisk pace of public infrastructure expansion will help secure a stronger productivity performance across our economy over time.
“With population growth once again accelerating, the need for enough enabling infrastructure is only going to get greater and must be done in tandem with increased home building,” Ms Wawn said.
National Director, Media & Public Affairs
0400 493 071