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Queensland building approvals buck national trend

Queensland was one of the only states in the country to experience a rise in building approvals in December. This bucked a national trend that saw an overall drop in the number of projects given the green light.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed approvals advanced 1.1 per cent in trend terms across Queensland, while the ACT, Western Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and South Australia all reported declines.

The data suggests a positive outcome for jobs in Queensland, particularly positions in the construction industry that are linked to house building. Similarly, trade-based apprenticeship opportunities could also enjoy a boost, with a potential skills shortage on the horizon as building activity increases.

According to the ABS, dwelling approvals fell 0.1 per cent nationwide in December, marking eight months of consecutive declines. The ACT experienced the month’s sharpest drop, plummeting 21.9 per cent.

Aside from Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria also benefited from improved approvals, climbing 1.8 and 1.6 per cent respectively. Queensland also reported the highest increase in private sector house approvals, which edged forward 0.8 per cent.

Wilhelm Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Master Builders Australia, said: “Total building approvals for calendar year 2015 reached 232,078 dwelling units, seasonally adjusted, with the three eastern states contributing nearly 80 per cent of all building approvals.”

Queensland figures ‘impressive’

State Treasurer Curtis Pitt said Queensland has continued to show strength in the construction sector, with building approvals up nearly 27 per cent during 2015.

December marked the fourth consecutive month that the state saw growth in approvals. Furthermore, Queensland gave the go-ahead to 10,000 more new dwellings year on year in 2015 than in the previous 12-month period.

Mr Pitt said building activity was up across the board, including for townhouses, units, apartments and houses. He added that the announcements will have a positive knock-on effect for jobs in Queensland.

“In 2015, a total of 48,936 new dwellings were approved – every one of them providing jobs for our state’s building industry and tradies,” he explained.

“In trend terms, the total value of residential building approvals in Queensland was $1.121 billion in December 2015, up from $976 million a year ago.”

The treasurer said Queensland is an excellent place to build, as the state offers more affordable housing than the other capitals in southern Australia. Moreover, recent research from Deloitte Access Economics and National Australia Bank indicated Queensland could lead the nation in terms of business confidence this year.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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