Master Builders SA is calling for immediate reforms to increase building approvals and protect jobs across the industry.
Whilst data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday shows signs that the sector might be finally starting to emerge from a tough period, South Australia continues to lag behind other states.
Although dwelling approvals in South Australia increased by 6.7%, this was well behind NSW (10.7 per cent), Tasmania (16.6 per cent) and WA (27.1 per cent).
Master Builders SA Chief Executive Ian Markos said measures were needed to support the sector and the tens of thousands of jobs it creates.
“South Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen in recent months, and surveys show rising business confidence, but we can’t afford to be complacent.
“Master Builders SA continues to call for the elimination of stamp duty for first homebuyers on new builds up to the median house price. As well as stimulating the industry, it will help young South Australians get into the market.
“Unlike first homebuyers in other states, South Australians must borrow to pay for stamp duty, meaning their $18,000 tax on a median home becomes a $60,000 noose with interest over the duration of their mortgage.
“There also needs to be a close look at red tape on housing.
“The building and construction industry is critical to the overall health of the South Australian economy. It is imperative we create the best possible environment for the sector to succeed.”