Chartered Builders Wary of COAG’s Agenda for Review of Construction Costs

The Australian Institute of Building (AIB), which represents thousands of Chartered Builders in Australia, today voiced concern regarding the announcement that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will establish an independent panel to review construction costs and productivity.

At the moment, the building and construction industry in Australia is in recession, and there is no point hiding from that fact. Even though the Australian economy is growing strongly, construction activity is contracting, and builders are hurting, said Robert Hunt, AIB Chief Executive Officer.

Federal and state governments must accept a large part of the blame for this situation.

While the building and construction industry, one of the mainstays of the economy, has been going downhill, it has been forced to deal with the extra burdens of federal laws which encourage more industrial action, and increased costs. This is in addition to the myriad of inconsistent licensing and state planning laws that Chartered Builders need to traverse.

While the thousands of Chartered Builders who the AIB represent accept that such a review is needed, the terms of reference must include the review of the real reasons for the costs, including inadequate laws which impede productivity gains. The AIB insists that this review includes an open and exhaustive consultation process. In particular, those builders who are recognised for their independence and professionalism should be included in the consultation, and not just industry and developer groups.

As the body that represents Chartered Builders around the country, and which strives hard for greater professionalism in the industry, the AIB hopes its offer of eminently qualified advice to this COAG independent panel is accepted, Mr Hunt said.