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Housing industry within capacity



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MINISTER FOR

MEDIA RELEASE

HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION The Hon Chris HURFORD MP

EMBARGO: 4.00 PM SUNDAY , 2 J MAY 1984

MPS 44/84

HOUSING INDUSTRY WITHIN CAPACITY

" I t is pleasing to receive c o n fir m atio n t h a t the housing c o n s t r u c t i o n

i n d u s t r y w i l l achieve the fore ca st level of 14b,000 housing commence­ ments in 1984-85 w i th o u t major cost or resource pressur es" , the M i n i s t e r f o r Housing and Construction, Chris Hurford, said today.

Mr. Hurford was commenting on a resources report prepared at his request by the I n d i c a t i v e Planning Council ( I PC) f o r the Housing I n d u s t r y .

The I PC Report estimates industry capacity in 1984-85 to be 152,000 d w e ll in g commencements, t h a t being the I PC * s estimate of the maximum number of dwellings which could be commenced in 1984-85 w i t h o u t undue pressures on costs and resources.

In i t s March 1984 report in A p r i l t h i s year on l i k e l y i n d u s t r y a c t i v i t y

l e v e l s , the IPC had fore cas t dw el ling commencements in 1984-85 at 145.000. At the second housing "mini-Summit" on 27 A p r i l t h i s year i t was agreed t h a t 145,000 commencements would be an app ro pria te Government housing t a r g e t f o r 1984-85.

"I am very pleased t h a t the IPC‘ s estimate of in d u s t ry c a p a c it y , namely

152.000, is comfortably above t h i s suggested t a r g e t of 145,000", Mr. Hurford sa id . "The housing recovery has been a major achievement of the Hawke Labor Government. The IPC r e p o r t suggests we sh al l achieve an increase of almost 40 per cent in in d u s t ry a c t i v i t y w i t h i n

two years with out undue cost or resource pr es sur es ."

"Nevertheless there is no room f o r complacency", Mr. Hurford s a i d . "Capacity and a c t i v i t y w i l l be d e l i c a t e l y poised in some r e gi o ns . The

in d u s t ry is close to f u l l capacity in South A u s t r a l i a and V i c t o r i a

and, due to the i n a c t i v i t y of the Fraser Government, t her e are

shortages of serviced land in the A.C.T."

The I PC report concludes t h a t there are u n l i k e l y to be any problems

w i th the supply of b u i l d i n g m a te r i a ls , and only i s o l a t e d s h o r t - t e r m

labour shortages. However, land supply could become a problem in some areas.

"1 am pleased to see th a t industry and governments are responding to t h i s s i t u a t i o n , which should r e s u l t in an improved supply of al lot me nts

over the next year or so", the M i n i s t e r said.

. ./?

Parliament House, Canberra

2

The r e p o r t acknowledges t h a t i t is very d i f f i c u l t to assess the land

supply s i t u a t i o n p r o p e r l y because of poor s t a t i s t i c s .

" I have taken steps to improve t h i s s i t u a t i o n by commissioning a

d e t a i l e d study of r e s i d e n t i a l land a v a i l a b i l i t y - t h i s w i l l enable

in d u s t r y and government t o respond more e f f e c t i v e l y to any land supply

problems", Mr. Hurford s a i d .

"1 have also i n s t r u c t e d my Department t o continue to monitor the

resources s i t u a t i o n c a r e f u l l y . "

Mr. Hurford expressed h i s a p p r e c ia t io n of the work o f the IPC and i t s

Chairman, Dr. Harold B e l l . The IPC is the Government's major advisory

body on c u r r e n t and p r o s p e c ti v e a c t i v i t y le v e ls in the housing

i n d u s t r y . Membership comprises re p r e se n ta tiv e s o f b u i l d e r s and i n d u s t r y a s s o c i a t i o n s , o r g a n is a t io n s in the housing finance s e c t o r ,

trade unions, the real e s t a t e i n d u s t r y , m a te ri a ls s u p p l i e r s , the

Pxeserve Bank and Federal Departments.

Canberra ,

27 May, 1984

Media c o n t a c t : Len Ea rly (062) 72 6635

(062) 58 1187