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Budget should stimulate building, say Master Builders

By Staff Reporter
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Queensland’s 2012-2013 budget will need to include measures that stimulate building activity, according to Queensland’s peak body for housing and construction.

After years of record low levels of building activity, Master Builders Executive Director Graham Cuthbert said that Master Builders is urging the government to consider such measures which he says are imperative to Queensland’s overall economic future.

“While lower interest rates and the continued strong growth in resources activity, particularly in areas like Mackay and Central Queensland, should help to stimulate construction activity over the coming year, it is likely that these positive influences will be offset to some degree by a number of negative influences,” Mr Cuthbert said.

“The debt crisis in Europe is likely to generate the biggest headwind over the next 12 months, as it will unsettle consumers and stoke fears about job security.

“This will reinforce the current dampening of consumer confidence, which is another big constraint on residential activity.

“Across Queensland, the industry has lost 15,000 workers in three years and the dismal state poses a risk to the wider economy, particularly given that construction activity has a substantial economic multiplier effect and because our industry is the largest employer of full-time staff in the state.

“We’re calling on the government to consider some specific measures in the next State Budget, including a strong capital works program, restriction of the First Home Owners Grant to new homes only together with an increase in the grant to $15,000, and a review of existing property holdings and commercial business units,” he said.

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