Master Builders Association's Central Queensland regional manager Dennis Bryant said the past financial year was average for construction approval numbers.
Master Builders Association's Central Queensland regional manager Dennis Bryant said the past financial year was average for construction approval numbers. FILE

Confidence returning to Rockhampton building industry

CONFIDENCE in the mining and manufacturing industry is part of the reason Rockhampton's construction industry is turning around.

There were 296 total dwellings approved for construction in Rockhampton in 2016-17 and Australian Bureau of Statistics data to December 31 showed there were already 158 new dwellings approved for construction halfway through this financial year.

Master Builders Association's Central Queensland regional manager Dennis Bryant said the past financial year was average for construction approval numbers. 

"Things are improving but we were right down the bottom of our approval numbers. There was no investment. People are not willing to spend. There was renovation work as opposed to new builds." he said.

"It's changing slightly, people are reporting that they've got houses to build and it's slowly gaining traction."

Mr Bryant said the hit to the mining industry in the past few years was a factor in construction approvals falling.

"Everyone got frightened off by the fact people were losing jobs in the mining businesses. Now they can see the mining industry hasn't gone backwards, it's recovering," he said.

"The lack of confidence for future employment was the biggest factor and that's turned around. We see a lot of projects either being reopened or expanded."

Mayor Margaret Strelow said a slight increase in approvals already this financial year was great news for the construction industry and the wider economy.

"Thanks to a combination of planning incentives, securing major business events and investment into major projects like the Riverbank and Smart Hub which demonstrate our ambition for the future, more and more people are becoming interested in our region," she said.

"There is always more to do, and council will continue to push get the investment our residents need and deserve." - NewsRegional


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