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Gloom in construction industry unfounded



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T O E H i m . J.E. *^eL(EAY A\.l>,

Embargoed until 11.30 a.m. Friday, April 14, 1978

Prophets of gloom within the construction industry were urged today

to adopt a more positive approach that took account of a marked

upsurge in private investment.

The Minister for Construction, John McLeay, accused some industry

spokesmen of trying to perpetuate the myth that relative spending

and rate of building should correspond to the boom conditions of

1973-74. . . . :

"What these people fail to grasp is that a boom period is not normal

and that,' in itself, it invariably leads to a downturn," he said.

Mr. McLeay made his criticism when presenting an Australian Design

Award to Hydro Thermal Engineering Pty. L t d . , of Adelaide, at a

ceremony in Sydney. . . . . . .

The company won the award from the Industrial Design Council of

Australia for a water cooling tower series of equipment embodying

a number of advantageous features, including Australian development

and manufacture. *·.■;. \ . · . '

It is the first time the award has been made for an industrial

cooling t o w e r .

Mr. McLeay said Hydro Thermal Engineering, with its obvious

association with the construction industry, typified the attitude

of companies leading the national economic recovery.

"The prophets of gloom persist in singling out sections of the

construction industry where the market was over supplied anyway

and citing them as an indicator of trends," said Mr. McLeay.

"These spokesmen also persist in equating the boom economy of

1973-74 with what the Federal. Government should be achieving now.

- 2-

"But such a policy would be unsound and, if it were repeated,

would almost certainly have disastrous consequences."

Mr. McLeay said the pessimists of the construction industry

seemed to concentrate on the over supplied market of office

buildings and dwellings, which were only part of the building

and construction industry.

"The facts are that the Federal Government is continuing to

fulfil its promise of economic recovery for the whole economy

which, of course, includes the construction industry.

"In March alone the public sector and private enterprise

announced construction projects worth $350 million.

' ' . ■ ■ ' : · . $ ? ■ ■ '

• . ■ . ■ ■ ■ ■ ' ' ■ § ' .

"Of this figure $254 million is to be spent by private

companies. \ · · ■ . . · * ’ ■'.·

"This takes to well over $3000 million the value of government . , " ■ \·

and private building projects announced since the December 10

election," he said.

"The public will remember that during the election campaign

the Prime Minister, Mr. Fraser, said there were investment,

decisions worth $6000 million ready to be implemented.

"At the present rate of investment we are past the halfway

mark in just four months." . . .

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MARCH

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1 Adelaide Advertiser Telecom Offices, Adelaide

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2 . Darwin Star Katherine School

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3 Hobart Mercury Hobart Technical College

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3 Daily Mirror Sydney S h o p s , Church, Dee Why

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8 Sydney Morning Herald Sydney Miranda Shops

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L O Launceston Examiner Launceston Commercial Develop

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L O Financial Review ^ Toowoomba Shops

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