Builders call for $13 billion stimulus action plan
A $13.2 billion building and construction stimulus action will stimulate over $30 billion in new economic activity and create more than 100,000 new jobs across the economy according to new economic modelling commission by Master Builders Australia (MBA).
MBA chief executive Denita Wawn says the group is seeking a stimulus, not subsidies from the government.
“We want the national cabinet to urgently implement this independently modelled stimulus package and establish a special task force to fast track commencement of construction activity,” she says.
The modelling shows that a $13.2 billion investment would result in $30.9 billion in GDP, the creation of 105,500 jobs in construction and across the economy and $17.6 billion in expanded construction activity (new dwelling starts, renovations and commercial construction activity).
“Building and construction is shaping up to be one of the worst hit industries 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,” Denita says.
“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. 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.”
She mentions that work for builders and tradies in 2020/21 is fast evaporating and all indications are that the following financial year won’t be much better.
“There is no time to spare in meeting this threat to the viability of nearly 400,000 building businesses and the jobs of 1.2 million people employed in our industry,” she says.
“We also want to see a dedicated building and construction industry taskforce established to oversee the implementation of the stimulus action plan. For stimulus to occur building activity needs to commence. Builders and tradies cannot sustain their businesses and jobs on promises. 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 proposed stimulus package would include the following:
- A $40,000 uncapped new home building grant, resulting in:
- $17 billion in additional economic activity resulting from $5.2 billion investment by government;
- The creation of 58,311 jobs right across the economy almost replenishing the 77,580 jobs lost in construction since the start of the pandemic; and
- Delivering 14,000 extra new homes
- Resilience renovation program (funding for renovations to make homes resilient to natural disasters or to make homes more accessible). Resulting in:
- $7 billion in economic activity for $4 billion investment by government; and
- Creating 24,036 jobs.
- For commercial projects: funding for cladding/asbestos rectification, a 10% drop in developer charges, 5% increase in government spending in health, defence and education):
- $6.8 billion in economic activity for $4 billion investment by government. This excludes wider economic benefits in relation to health, safety and building quality; and
- Creating 23,118 jobs.