‘Imminent crisis’ flagged for home building industry

By Emma Ryan 17 April 2020 | 1 minute read

A new survey has highlighted a substantial fall in forward work on the books for builders and tradies.

Denita Wawn

According to Master Builders Australia’s recent survey, builders and tradies are facing an “imminent crisis, with most set to run out of new work in the next few months”.

The survey found that 73 per cent of respondents have reported a substantial fall in forward work on their books, with 40 per cent being lost on average.

“While projects that commenced prior to the onset of the COVID-19 crisis are providing short-term work for many, for the overwhelming majority of our 32,000 members, new orders have fallen off a cliff,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia, said.

“The situation is dangerous. At risk is the viability of nearly 400,000 building and construction businesses, the jobs of 1.2 million Australians and the industry’s capacity to aid the economic recovery,” Ms Wawn said.


“The home building sector is being hit especially hard. Confusion about how domestic building activity fits in with government safety rules, combined with job losses and business closures, is having a devastating impact on demand for new residential building activity.

“So, while we strongly back the current measures to support businesses and jobs, we are calling on all governments to urgently roll out new stimulus measures that will immediately kick-start building activity.”

Ms Wawn added: “Increasing the size of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and expanding its eligibility to include anyone wanting to purchase only new homes while maintaining the current price and income caps is just one of a range of measures we have proposed to the federal government.

“The nation’s commercial and civil construction contractors also urgently need a forward pipeline of work. Our calls for governments at all levels to accelerate the construction of social, defence and transport infrastructure projects will continue to be relentless.

“Our message to governments is that we understand the enormity of the challenge they face, but that these stimulus measures cannot wait. If urgent action is not taken, our industry’s role in the economic recovery will be severely blunted,” she concluded.

About the author

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.

Email Emma on: [email protected]Read more

‘Imminent crisis’ flagged for home building industry
Denita Wawn
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