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HIA welcomes focus on skilled workforce in WA budget

Media release

HIA welcomes focus on skilled workforce in WA budget

Media release
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has welcomed the ongoing support for Western Australia’s residential building industry in the 2022-2023 State Budget, including a number of targeted initiatives aimed at attracting more skilled workers into the state amid record high levels of detached construction.

This includes a number of targeted initiatives aimed at attracting more skilled workers into the state amid record high levels of detached construction.

In just his second budget as Treasurer, WA Premier Mark McGowan has used the budget to further progress economic growth on the back of the State’s response to the global pandemic.

Acting HIA WA Executive Director Michael McGowan said this budget prioritises the need to expand the current workforce in order to alleviate the current pressure around delivering much-needed housing stock.

“The Premier and Treasurer has again delivered a budget that provides economic certainty for Western Australians, as well as anyone looking to migrate to WA,” Mr McGowan said.

“The budget acknowledges housing as an important part of the economy and outlines measures that will ensure the ongoing supply of housing, as well as beginning to address some of the challenges that the industry is currently experiencing.

“The initiatives announced in today’s budget indicate a positive forward outlook for WA, and the initiatives should ensure that the state remains a desirable place to live and work as WA’s housing market looks to transition back to its long-term average of 20,000 starts.

“By permanently increasing Keystart income limits and piloting new products for medium and high density transport hubs, the Government has reaffirmed the importance of Keystart in supporting people achieve home ownership.

“HIA will continue to engage with the Government around various industry challenges affecting competition times for new homes and the cost increases being experienced.  

“The Premier’s commitment to be involved in urging major banks to adopt a flexible approach to progress payments will be critical in helping address ongoing cash flow challenges affecting builders across the state.

“The Budget has included a head contractor relief fund for builders working on Department of Finance and Department of Communities projects to recognise additional costs that builders have incurred through unforeseen supply challenges.

“This reflects the Government’s understanding of the current challenges within the industry and their willingness to assist with initiatives that will ease these pressure points.

“While providing some relief for some home builders in the current market, HIA believes there is still more that can be done to assist with these cashflow challenges.

“Skilled labour also remains an ongoing challenge and broadening entry pathways through initiatives such as the "Build a Life Campaign', international marketing and recruiting campaigns, and increasing greater mobility of skilled labour between states, is a positive step towards attracting more skilled workers into the building and construction industry in WA. 

“In addition to these measures outlined, the increase to the start date for projects that fall under the Building Bonus framework, from 18 months to 30 months, is a welcome move.

“This will assist 2,500 home builds that have been impacted by delays in starting and help ease the financial pressure on both builders and consumers.

“HIA will continue to work with the Government to mitigate the ongoing impacts of labour and material shortages, as both builders and consumers will continue to be faced with completion delays and cost escalation as a result of these salient challenges.”

For more information:

Madeleine Palm

Communications and Media Coordinator, WA
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