STAFF retrenchments and a migrating workforce continue to dog the Gold Coast’s ailing housing construction sector.
Master Builders Queensland’s (MBQ) latest regional survey of industry conditions shows the ‘glitter strip’ is the worst performer in the state, with low confidence despite a slight rise in building approvals during the first three months of 2012.
Housing policy director Paul Bidwell (pictured) describes the city as a battleground for commercial survival.
“Employment levels fell with one in two local businesses reducing the size of their workforce,” he says.
“More and more trade people will be forced out of the Gold Coast to find work. The Coast is different from Cairns and the Sunshine Coast in the way it has skyrocketing growth before crashing right down.”
The building and construction body reveals key constraints on business growth include poor demand and availability.
“It is also due to the high cost of finance and infrastructure charges as well as lengthy planning approval processes,” says Bidwell.
“The MBQ business performance turnover indicator ranged between 30 and 40 for the Gold Coast – nowhere near the acceptable level of 50.”
However, employment levels and wage bills are tipped to stabilise in the June quarter.
“We think the building industry will improve, it is just a question of when. We hope the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Reserve Bank of Australia’s May interest rate reduction will drive growth.”
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