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WA President's report

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HIA WA President Tony Ricciardello reflects on the state of the industry, and the need for a clear plan.

Tony Ricciardello

HIA Western Australia President

Almost six months into my term as WA president, I understand the enormity of our work for our industry and members.

Meetings with State Ministers advocating for reasonable and fair outcomes for our industry are a big part of what we do. This is new for me, but I’m enjoying getting my teeth into it.

During August, our Executive Director Michael McGowan and I met with Premier Roger Cook and shortly after that with Hon. Rita Saffioti, Minister for Transport, Tourism and WA’s Treasurer. They both took the time to listen and were receptive to our analysis and feedback on the industry’s current state and what the projections looked like moving forward.

We know there is a housing supply shortage, so the conversations were around current and proposed regulatory changes that the State Government has control over affecting housing supply and affordability.

Some of the items we discussed were:

  • Concerns from the industry on the Medium Density Code.
  • Impacts of NCC, WHS (fall from heights, silica awareness, etc.) and regulatory changes.
  • The effects of current building conditions on cash flow for builders. The rise of insolvencies.
  • Construction cost and interest rate rises that impact the first homebuyer.
  • The need to support more workers entering the industry.
  • Starts and completions.
  • Impact of taxes on foreign investors.

We stressed the importance of housing moving forward and how it looks over the next five years. Currently, we are well below the required target of 20,000 homes. We are sitting at 13,000 completions for 2023 and slightly more in the coming years. We can't build homes quickly enough.

A clear plan is required to assess, streamline and prioritise the housing pipeline and ensure that housing remains available to meet demand and stay affordable.

As I further progress into my tenure, each day, I better understand what the industry needs to thrive and remain strong. Therefore, I will continue to advocate passionately for you, our members and the industry.

 

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