- Article by Tili Bensley-Nettheim
Master Builders Australia seeks a National Cabinet consensus to deal cohesively and practically with the tension between the health and economic impact of the virus is the overwhelming imperative to be drawn from the 7% fall in June quarter GDP.
“This is a fundamental requirement to instilling the confidence necessary to arrest the shocking drops in private sector demand and household spending that are driving the decline in economic growth,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia, says.
“Our industry is confronting forecast declines of 27% in home building activity and around 17% in commercial construction over the next 12 months.”
“This will have a devastating impact on the nearly 400,000 businesses, the 1.2 million people they directly employ and negatively impact thousands more in the building supply chain and wider economy,” Wawn says.
“That is why Master Builders is calling for bold action from the Federal Government in the Federal Budget which is now just over a month away,” she says.
“We want to see stimulus and policy measures that support economic growth. Investment in building and construction activity that gives back to the economy,” Wawn says.
Measures such as:
- The Master Builders’ proposed CommunityBuilder grants scheme to activate and bring forward demand for building services through the Federal Government assisting community groups and not-for-profits with the cost of construction of new facilities and substantial maintenance of existing ones.
- Extending the life and expanding the scope of the highly successful HomeBuilder grants and First Home Deposit Scheme.
- Introducing accelerated depreciation on capital works over the next two years for all property types.
- Fast tracking construction pre-approved civil and social infrastructure.
- Funding to provide training and jobs to young people and new hope and opportunity whose jobs are displaced by the economic crisis.
- Complementary tax and regulatory reforms that lighten the load on business to maximise the effectiveness of government spending.
“Rebuilding Australia from this recession is going to be a unique challenge. The building and construction has a major role to play and has been successfully navigating through the health challenges posed by the pandemic to continue providing jobs and economic activity,” Wawn says.
“Boosting confidence through a National Cabinet consensus to deal with the economic and health challenges and Budget measures to bridge the gap in private demand are essential to providing a foundation for recovery.”
Lead photo: Ricardo Gomez Angel