New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals the number of building approvals in Tasmania has fallen for the third month in a row.
The data shows building approvals in January fell by more than any other state or territory, and are now almost 20% lower that at the same time last year.
The decline comes on the back of similarly concerning falls in business investment, international exports, job vacancies and the amount of building work completed.
It also comes in the context of delays to almost every major infrastructure project in Tasmania, a significant deterioration in the state’s finances, and the looming economic challenge posed by coronavirus.
The figures also appear to confirm the criticisms levelled at the State Government in last week’s report from the Northern Midlands Business Association, including claims that the development and construction industry views State Government agencies as unacceptably slow and that “it’s the officer you are dealing with, rather than consistent processes and clear guidelines, that dictates whether a road or rail access, parks, environment, EPA or heritage application goes through.”
Shadow Minister for Building and Construction, Jen Butler, said if there’s one thing the building and construction industry needs, it is certainty.
“They need certainty that there’s a steady pipeline of work to come and that approvals processes will be managed consistently.” Ms Butler said.
“Tasmania’s building and construction industry needs sustained, strategic activity to avoid peaks and troughs”
“Peter Gutwein needs to urgently take control to address the slide.”
Jen Butler MP
Shadow Building and Construction Minister