CANBERRA’S constructions industry heaved a sigh of relief when the ACT Budget announced a $2.8 billion infrastructure program said Capital Works Program Master Builders ACT executive director, Kirk Coningham.
Mr Coningham said the region’s builders and contractors had been fearing expenditure on light rail stage 1 would detract from expenditure on critical education, health and road infrastructure.
The ACT Budget has allocated $114 million for new capital works, $713 million for works-in-progress and $60 million for the Better Infrastructure Fund.
“Coupled with the Local Industry Participation Policy that commenced on January 1, 2017, the budget announcements will ensure significant flow on benefits to our economy – potentially for many years to come,” Mr Coningham said.
Master Builders ACT has welcomed the government’s response to industry calls for more private sector involvement in future land releases.
“In addition to Land Development Agency releases at Throsby, Taylor, Wright, Coombs and Strathnarin, the four year land release program will see an increasing contribution from private sector developers at Denman Prospect and from approximately 2000 privately held undeveloped sites already released,” Mr Coningham said.
“In the longer term, private sector land release will be boosted with the development of land owned by the CSIRO. This will ensure supply of land for housing better matches demand and price increases are kept to a minimum.
“Critically important to the region’s residential builders is recognition in the land release program that more land for single houses and affordable medium density housing will be released, rebalancing the supply of housing and apartments. Nothing flows through to the economy more quickly than the construction of new homes.
“It’s a win-win for the entire community,” Kirk Coningham said.