Housing construction work is about to fall off a cliff and the Morrison Government has no plan to help tradespeople in trouble.
The pipeline of work in the housing construction industry is drying up and will result in a sharp decline in work for around 12,710 tradies and 2,451 small and family businesses working in construction or related activities in the Fremantle electorate unless urgent action is taken.
I am glad to have campaigned successfully for federal funds to support the WA government’s record activity in large civil engineering projects like the North Lake Road Bridge, the High Street Upgrade, the Cockburn-Thornlie MetroNet Rail Link, and new Fremantle Road & Rail bridge – but smaller-scale housing construction work is facing a steep reduction.
Back in April, Labor called on the Federal Government to develop a National Housing Stimulus Plan to stop massive job losses in the housing construction industry.
“Almost one million people work in Australia’s building construction industry, with around 12,710 of them working right here in the Fremantle electorate,” Mr Wilson said.
“The Government needs to stop delaying and urgently develop a plan to help save the jobs of around 12,710 local tradies and 2,451 small and family businesses.”
Data released by Master Builders WA shows that 70% of its members have incurred a 40% decrease to their work pipeline.
Before COVID-19 hit, between 160,000 to 170,000 homes were expected to be built this year. Now it is predicted to be as low as 100,000.
To help fill this gap Labor has already called on the Government to:
- Work with state governments, the private sector and superannuation funds to invest in more social and affordable housing and the repair and maintenance existing social housing; and
- Build more affordable rental housing for the true heroes of the COVID-19 crisis – nurses, cleaners, aged care and supermarket workers, bus drivers, and other front-line workers – closer to where they work.
Before the COVID-19 hit a lot of locals in the Fremantle electorate were struggling to buy and rent a home:
- Across WA, rental stress was through the roof with 28% of households paying more than 30% of their income on rent, and
- Nationally home ownership rates were at their lowest level in 60 years
- The last Census revealed a record high number of homeless Australians
While housing has been key to this health crisis – it can also be a key part of economic recovery.
In times of economic shock, housing construction has played a vital role in national economic recovery.
Now is the time to act. The Government needs to hurry up and act before more local tradies in the Fremantle electorate lose their jobs and more small and family businesses hit the wall.