Victorian construction industry turns to Europe

Friday 28 Oct 2022

A delegation led by Master Builders Victoria will attempt to poach international expertise to help reinvigorate the state’s struggling construction sector. The delegation will meet with industry peers in Europe, Canada and the United States as part of an international research project to support Victoria’s post-COVID building and construction industry.

The cost of building in Victoria rose faster than in any other state because of a massive increase in material prices, forcing a growing number of business failures that has left hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of projects in limbo.

Master Builders Victoria chief executive Rebecca Casson said many of the state’s builders were struggling with profitability while dealing with skills and labour shortages, ongoing material price increases, significant workplace stress, and mental health issues.

A critical shortage of skilled tradespeople had also compounded the crisis, Casson said, with the industry experiencing gaps across carpentry, bricklaying, project managers and building surveyors.

Timber prices have increased almost 40 per cent over the past three years, with the war in Ukraine pushing up the price of timber products from Russia by 25 per cent this year. The cost of steel rose by 30 to 60 per cent last year, while electrical and concrete costs have risen by 20 to 40 per cent.

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Source: theage

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