Business, Earthmoving News

CCF QLD calls for housing infrastructure rethink

CCF QLD says that the significant decline in new dwelling commencements shows a need to focus on supporting infrastructure

The Civil Contractors Federation Queensland Limited (CCF QLD), has called on further investment into housing enabling infrastructure policy as the latest numbers released by ABS show a continued shortfall of new housing in Queensland.

With new home builds having record declines from over 52,219 home starts in the 12 months to December 2016 to 32,218 home starts in 2023 – leaving it well short of the QLD 45,000 home per year target – CCF QLD says that a reprioritisation of housing enabling infrastructure is required.

“In practical terms, this data shows that in the last year there are 18,000 fewer homes are available for Queensland families to move into than we saw back in 2016 and well short of state targets requiring a rethink of housing enabling infrastructure,” CCF QLD CEO Damian Long says.

“The release of the latest ABS housing commencement numbers shows a shocking reality that, with Queensland’s population busting at the seams, state housing targets falling by the wayside and not enough housing enabling infrastructure, there will be a cost of living catastrophe for many in the period ahead unless this is resolved.

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“There is a clear freefall in the rate of housing activity, which comes at the worst possible time on the back of recent surges in net overseas migration (NOM) rising nationally to 548,000 as of the latest figures. Queensland has risen as a share to 144,000 NOM against a 20-year average annual NOM increase of 86,000, which is 60,000 additional families looking for a home residing in the state in one year alone.

“What we have failed to grasp now for some time is that a new home can’t be built without roads, bridges, pipes and electricity infrastructure, and the recent period has seen a surge in $500m-plus infrastructure projects, that are important, but a drop in the $100–500m housing-enabling infrastructure projects is hurting residential development.

“In simplest terms, not one dollar in housing can be spent until a dollar has been spent in civil, and a refocus of housing enabling infrastructure investment in both greenfield and brownfield developments is critical to turning this crisis around.

“We are running Australian cities on 50–100 year old infrastructure in parts of Queensland and we still hope to see a density uplift of multi-residential building. This runs parallel to a drop in the percentage of $50–150m waste, water, pipeline and road infrastructure project commencements, which is the enabler of housing and community growth.”

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