2019 What a Year!
December 08, 2019
The beginning of the year dawned with the credit crunch biting hard and finance approval times on new builds blowing out as banks tightened lending practices following the Hayne Royal Commission. Builders, mortgage brokers and consumers bore the brunt of the post-inquiry uncertainty as industry and government grappled with how to respond to its recommendations. On top of the finance squeeze, consumers and investors also began a further retreat as the policy debate for the May 2019 federal election gained momentum. It was the perfect storm - one that wiped out any of those so-called “green shoots” we’d hoped for, albeit briefly, at the end of 2018.
However, have things changed?
The answer is, unequivocally, yes. The fundamentals of the WA economy are sound. The WA Government has responded positively to HIA’s lobbying for industry support. Mining investment is picking up. Rental vacancy rates are tightening. The WA population is growing again.
It is time to raise our eyes to the horizon. So taking some of my own advice, here are the three things I can suggest to help bring in the New Year.
- Take the time to thank your teams for their efforts in 2019. Then celebrate the start of 2020 by telling your teams, your neighbours and your friends to get ready for a better year.
- Think about what skills you will need in 2-3 years’ time; you need to consider taking on apprentices NOW because this is going to be one of the lagging challenges we grapple with from the downturn we’re emerging from. We have a proud history of training and we all need to start taking action now to set ourselves up for success in the very-near future.
- Stay engaged and involved with your HIA. The McGowan Government will go to the polls in March 2021 so the 2020 calendar year is when we will continue to lobby all parties to make sure their policies reflect the important role the residential construction sector plays for the WA economy in regard to jobs, training and prosperity.
In closing, on a personal note, I’ve clocked up one year in the role as your Executive Director. I want to share a sincere thank you to every one of you for the generosity and support you have shown me over the year - from inviting me to watch slab pours, tour your factories and showrooms, as well as taking the time to explain how your businesses are being affected by red tape and regulation. I have learned a great deal and have so much respect and admiration for the hardworking men, women and families in our industry. Please keep the invitations coming in 2020; the more I see of what you do the better equipped I am to explain to government how to best support our wonderful industry.
Please enjoy a safe and relaxing festive season with your families and loved ones.
HIA and I look forward to representing you and your business in 2020 and we can be contacted after shut down on 1300 650 620.