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Increase skilled visas and improve supply chains the ways to catch up on lost productivity says UDIA

In line with Urban Development Institute of Australia’s own data, today’s NHFIC cost inflation report shows building material and labour cost inflation increased at its fastest pace in nearly 50 years on the back of supply constraints over the past year – something the industry has been warning Government about for more than 18 months.

Logistical constraints on construction materials due to the pandemic have continued, resulting in the cost of plywood and steel reinforcement increasing by more than 25 per cent over the past year, and some products such as structural timber rising by more than 40 per cent.

More onshore manufacturing for construction-related products is required to tackle this issue head-on, says UDIA, calling on the Federal Government to urgently look at manufacturing loans, grants and guarantee initiatives to support the needs of the industry.

“Direct actions such as these are needed to address product shortages into the mid- and long-term, taking pressure off existing international supply chains and building greater diversity, competitiveness and resilience,” said Maxwell Shifman, UDIA National President.

“Unless there is a boost to manufacture of construction materials, already constrained new housing will be further exacerbated, making construction even more expensive and leading to further demand-fuelled house price increases,” he added.

While UDIA welcomed the initiative from the Federal Government’s Jobs & Skills Summit to increase in the permanent Migration Program ceiling to 195,000 in 2022-23 to help ease widespread, critical workforce shortages, skilled workers for the construction industry are desperately needed and needed right now.

Australia needs to do everything possible to catch up an estimated 50,000 housing shortfall that was not built due to pandemic-related delays.

“We need to build skilled capacity quickly by drastically increasing and fast-tracking skilled visas above the 12-month average to catch up the lost productivity,” said Mr Shifman.


Media Enquiries:
Deanna Lane | National Media & Communications Manager | 0416 295 898 | media@udia.com.au