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Saturday, May 15, 2021
BAL Lawyers
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Builders call for stimulus action

Master Builders Australia (MBA) is calling on the National Cabinet to implement $13.2 billion in economic stimulus for the building and construction industry.

MBA CEO Denita Wawn said the organisation is seeking “stimulus not subsidies”, and is calling on the National Cabinet to implement the MBA’s “independently modelled” stimulus package.

“Building and construction is shaping up to be one of the industries worst hit in the long term by the COVID-19 economic crisis. We know from previous downturns that it takes four times longer for our industry to recover than the rest of the economy,” Ms Wawn said.

She said work for builders and tradies in the 2020/21 financial year is “fast evaporating” with indications 2021/22 “will not be much better”.

“This economic crisis is not the result of a market failure; it is the result of the lockdown imposed by governments in response to the public health emergency of COVID-19,” she said.

“We are asking our political leaders to show the same courage and vision in supporting our industry as they showed in responding to the health emergency.”

MBA commissioned EY to prepare modelling for the stimulus package that includes calls for: $40,000 uncapped new home-building grants; a resilience renovation program to fund renovations that make homes more accessible or resilient to natural disasters; and a 10% drop in developer charges for some commercial programs, such as those including funding for cladding/asbestos rectification and a 5% increase in Government spending in health, defence and education.

Ms Wawn said MBA would also want to see a “dedicated building and construction industry taskforce” to oversee the implementation of such a plan.

“For stimulus to occur building activity needs to commence. Builders and tradies cannot sustain their businesses and jobs on promises,” she said.

“We have seen that governments can fast track construction activity in response to natural disasters and COVID-19 is shaping up as an economic disaster.”

The ACT Government is fast-tracking a number of “screwdriver ready” construction projects to keep local jobs.

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