Peak bodies on board with budget

May 14, 2022 BY

MBV CEO Rebecca Casson commended the Victorian Government for delivering a stronger building and planning system while unlocking land more quickly for future housing supply.

Master Builders Victoria has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcements on planning reform, infrastructure, and training in the 2022/23 State budget.

With the building and construction industry experiencing severe supply chain issues and trades shortages, MBV CEO Rebecca Casson commended the Victorian Government for delivering a stronger building and planning system while unlocking land more quickly for future housing supply.

The Victorian 2022/23 budget includes allocating up to $40 million in red tape cutting building sector reforms and projects to support investment across the state.

“This investment includes almost $28 million in reforms to provide greater protection for consumers, strengthen building standards, cut red tape, and address skills shortages,” she said.

“Quite simply, for our members, time is money.

“MBV welcomes any measures that can cut red tape and improve planning outcomes for all Victorians.”

Meanwhile, the Victorian Government will establish the state’s first building monitor to advocate for domestic building consumers and report on emerging issues.

MBV advocated for a building minister to represent both industry and consumers and will continue to work with the Government to ensure that both sides are included.

Additionally, the budget includes allocating resources to the State Building Surveyor to utilise their expertise for more complex building works.

“We are exploring what the appointment of a building monitor and a building surveyor means to our industry,” Ms Casson said.

“However, it is evident that there is an established framework to represent consumers, and we do not want to see any duplication.

“MBV has long advocated for a dedicated building minister, this minister would represent consumer and practitioner interests, with a remit to oversee, monitor, and effect change for a quality-built environment.”

The Victorian Government will also spend $6 million to speed up precinct planning and approvals for more than 95,000 residential lots in Melbourne’s growth corridors and almost 44,000 lots in regional Victoria.

Ms Casson said MBV fully supported the Victorian Government’s $277 million spend on VCE and VCAL, which provides a strong base to build productive pathways into the building and construction industry.

“It’s a particularly positive move to address skills shortages in our industry, and we welcome more pathways into building and construction careers,” she said.

“We look forward to welcoming the next generation of Victorian students who have chosen to pursue fulfilling and rewarding careers in the building and construction industry.

“This change will guarantee an ongoing pipeline of quality building and secure a future-ready industry.”

Ms Casson also welcomed investments in the Victorian Industry Investment Fund to invest in local manufacturing; the Big Housing Build, which is set to deliver 12000 new social and affordable homes; and continued investment in the Government’s Big Build projects, including the Metro Tunnel, removal of level crossings, the West Gate Tunnel, North East Link and regional rail upgrades.

Manwhile the Real Estate Institute of Victoria welcomed the budget as a reinforcement of the sector’s current economic strength, but said it missed an opportunity to embrace better tax policy in the sector.

REIV CEO Quentin Kilian said that while there were some welcome items in the budget for real estate in the state, the sector is due for solid property tax reform and a more contemporary approach.

“Since last year’s budget forecast a further $3.3 billion in property tax revenue has been raised, underlining how significant a contributor the real estate sector is to the state’s coffers,” Mr Kilian said.

“Stamp duty is a tired tax that the Victorian Government continues to prioritise.

“The state needs a review of its old property tax regime so that all participants, first homebuyers, owner-occupiers, investors and renters, can move forward with confidence.

“Political, business and community leaders should ensure there’s a focus on keeping Victoria an attractive destination for property investment and housing affordability and access.

“Anything less puts at risk our strong foundation, which will harm job creation and the economy more broadly.”