Timber shortage emergency summit held in SA

Friday 4 Jun 2021

Australia's timber shortage is not just hurting builders but is having a "big domino effect" on trades dependent on the construction industry, an emergency summit at South Australian Parliament has been told.

The summit — organised by SA Best and attended by key players from the construction and building industries — has been warned about business closures and job losses if solutions are not found.

A sharp increase in global demand during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused rises in the cost of building materials, including timber. Attendees included industry associations, such as the Master Builders Association of SA and the Housing Industry Association, along with leading timber producers and suppliers, and some of the state's largest home builders.

GCJ Constructions project manager Nathan Shanks said some of his projects were experiencing "massive handbrakes" due to the timber shortage. "We have a AU$5 million project going in the Barossa which has had a handbrake on it for the past four months minimum — and with that problem comes a lot of cost that we end up bleeding," he said.

"If there is opportunity to source material from somewhere like Kangaroo Island, then I think that's definitely worth looking into, because I think we're only just going to get more pain as it goes on."

He said the timber shortage was also impacting other tradespeople — including electricians, bricklayers and plumbers — who were waiting to do their work once frames were built. "They can't do their first fixes," he said. "It is a big domino effect — timber is definitely one of the main components that we are lacking in the industry.

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Source: ABC

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