REIA applauds Frydenberg’s budget
The Real Estate Institute of Australia has looked favourably on the measures handed down in this week’s federal budget...
The head of a property association has called out the government’s attempts to make changes to the 457 skilled working visa as moves which could be detrimental to the housing industry.
According to Graham Wolfe, managing director of the Housing Industry Association, visa changes should instead be made to create a new category of visa for those to not be connected to an employer and instead as a trade contractor that is not beholden to any one employer, rather than making changes to the 457 visa.
“The housing industry is more vulnerable to skill shortages than many other industry sectors due to an ageing labour force, the physical nature of work, the ongoing demand for new housing and the often cyclical nature of activity,” Mr Wolfe said.
“The housing industry is vital to the wellbeing of Australian society. Australia will need to build over 2.3 million houses by 2030 to keep up with demand. In the last year alone, there was $108 billion worth of residential construction carried out in Australia.
“Skilled worker visas have for many years allowed people trained and experienced in other countries to enter Australia and work for an approved business that sponsors the worker. This approach fails to recognize that trade contractors have always operated their own business.”
He added that visa models, as they currently stand, are at odds with the housing industry’s preference towards independent contracting, which he labelled as efficient and affordable.
“A well-thought-out migration policy coupled with a strong sector to train future tradespeople in Australia will go a long way to helping supply the homes we need over the next decade,” Mr Wolfe concluded.