Quotes attributable to Rebecca Casson, CEO, Master Builders Victoria
Master Builders Victoria (MBV) has welcomed the announcement that a new owner has been secured for five city-shaping projects in Victoria, safeguarding the future of hundreds of threatened building and construction jobs.
Under the sale agreement executed by the Deloitte Administrators, Roberts Co. will take control of the following Melbourne projects - Uno Melbourne, CSL, Elizabeth North Stage 2, 500 Bourke Street, and 502 Albert Street.
This welcome news will provide certainty for the employment of more than 150 employees and for the building and construction industry more broadly. Significantly, more than 150 sub-contractors and consultants will be paid their arrears and can get back to work immediately.
It is pleasing that this sale has already seen construction restart on four of these key projects, with the fifth expected to begin shortly.
Insolvencies are an ongoing concern for the building and construction industry. Ninety-six building and construction businesses entered external administration during February 2022. This is still low by pre-COVID standards, nevertheless, the building and construction industry’s share of total insolvencies is close to the highest on record at 27.2 per cent.
Ongoing supply and skill shortages are two of the most pressing issues facing the building and construction industry and contribute to insolvencies. Since early 2021, MBV has consistently raised awareness of these issues and their ongoing impacts on building and construction businesses, large and small.
MBV continues to advocate in these areas to find solutions to supply and skills shortages to ensure that Victoria retains a strong building and construction industry and to ensure our state’s post COVID economic recovery.
However, MBV fears the soaring costs of materials and labour shortages will result in more building and construction companies being forced into insolvency.
It is evident that the large increases in builders’ material and labour costs following COVID-19 shutdowns, combined with the reduced workforce capacity, are starting to impact Victorian builders significantly.
Thankfully, in this individual situation, a buyer has quickly been found to protect more than 300 building and construction jobs and safeguard the future of five key Melbourne projects.