BUILDERS TO PUSH PRODUCTIVITY AT PM'S ECONOMIC FORUM
After experiencing months of decline in commercial building and poor conditions in housing, the Prime Minister’s Economic Forum couldn’t have come at a better time for the building and construction industry.
CEO of Australia’s peak building and construction organisation, Master Builders Australia, Wilhelm Harnisch says productivity reforms are high on the industry’s agenda.
“A national conversation on the economy is always important, but thinking globally must be linked to securing our economic future domestically. We are looking forward to adding our voice, calling for productivity reform which can help boost the building and construction industry.
“Productivity reforms should include a reduction in the company tax rate and more harmonised legislative processes.
“Recent GDP figures show that at the macro level, Australia’s economy is doing well in the global context. But what it also revealed is that while the resource sector is booming, other sectors are struggling.
“There is more work to do on the domestic policy front. We cannot simply ride the mining boom to success. We need productivity reforms to create a more balanced economy which must include the building and construction industry, which currently is struggling.
“Uncertainty in the building and construction industry is being driven by forces that detract from performance, its ability to contribute to the economy and ultimately create jobs. Critical factors currently are the performance of the non-resource side of the national economy, consumer confidence and the availability and cost of finance.
“Sentiment in both the residential and non-residential building sectors is very low. This is having a detrimental effect on building and construction industry.
“The industry has been frustrated by a lack of finance and bureaucratic red tape. This works against opportunities for rekindling new investment opportunities. Investment in skills and an efficient labour market is another key productivity consideration,” Mr Harnisch said.
The building and construction industry recognises the importance of Australia’s global competitiveness, but it must be underpinned by ongoing productivity reforms.