Master Builders Victoria welcomes the State Government’s announcement of their Building Works package, which provides $2.7 billion towards shovel-ready projects of all sizes to get thousands of people back to work.

“Master Builders Victoria has advocated to the State Government to support the continuance of building activity, which is a primary driver of our economy,” Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson said.

“The most immediate boost available is to identify refurbishment or maintenance projects that don’t require planning approvals,” Ms Casson said.

“We also asked the State Government to ensure projects were available in smaller tenders so these can be accessible by smaller businesses, such as mum-and-dad builders and tradies, who are the lifeblood of our economy.

“We commend the State Government on these announcements and ask them to go one step further by making the Construction Supply Register even simpler to access, which will ensure all work continues to be easily accessible and inclusive to organisations of all sizes,” Ms Casson said.

“The Building Works package is important because it includes hundreds of projects that have been selected precisely because they can launch quickly, pushing shovels into the ground within weeks or months. Master Builders’ recent forecasts have shown alarming worst-case scenarios that our economy could face if governments don’t implement stimulus now.

“Getting these types of projects underway immediately is important. Master Builders Victoria has identified that the pipeline of commercial construction projects is facing a steep decline over the next two years, with activity plummeting by more than 16.3 per cent over 2020-2021, and a further 9.3 per cent in 2021/22. The spoiling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have shattered private sector demand. Those projects must have government support and stimulus in order to recover,” Ms Casson said.

The building and construction industry stands ideally placed to guide our state through to an economic recovery from this crisis. Our sector provides 45 per cent of Victoria’s tax revenue and is the state’s largest full-time employer. ABS data shows that every $1 invested in housing construction produces $3 worth of economic activity.

“On behalf of our members and our industry, we will continue to provide advice to the Victorian State Government on stimulus measures that can give our economy the best chance of success as the task of economic recovery continues,” Ms Casson said.