South Australia’s building industry heads south

The Housing Industry Association’s (HIA) bi-annual Housing Scorecard report for 2014/15 contains yet more bad news for the housing industry and job seekers in South Australia.

“In a year when Australia had more new home starts than any other year on record South Australia tumbled to the bottom of pile and it shows in our very high unemployment rate,” said Shadow Minister for Housing Vickie Chapman.  

“The housing industry is a key driver of economic growth and its decline in South Australia is feeding our unemployment crisis.”  

New dwelling starts in South Australia fell by 3.7 per cent to 10,300 during 2014/15. By way of comparison there where 212,000 new dwelling starts across Australia, an increase of 17 per cent.  

Even more concerning is that new dwelling starts in South Australia are forecast to tumble by another 6.9 per cent to just 9,600 starts this financial year.  

The figures had HIA Economist Geordan Murray lamenting:  

“In contrast, broad economic malaise in South Australia has damaged animal spirits. Businesses are lacking the confidence to invest while households are unwilling to spend.  

The state’s 7.3 per cent unemployment rate is a damning statistic. The state needs a circuit breaker, it is time for the state’s leaders to inspire some confidence.”  

Last month, the State Liberals announced a comprehensive Jobs Stimulus Package to start fixing South Australia’s dire unemployment situation.  

The focus of this Plan was to:  

Immediately cut business taxes to allow business to grow and create more jobs;  

Invest in new job creating infrastructure projects; and,  

Provide immediate relief to families and households who are struggling under spiralling cost of living pressures.