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Construction extensions 'won't fill gap in material shortage'


Ipswich builders are getting a breather - of sorts - with construction timeframes extending, but they say it will not fix a major material shortage.

Workers had to start construction within six months of signing a contract under the HomeBuilder scheme.

The timeframe has now been extended to 18 months as builders struggle to keep up with demand.

Master Builders manager Malcolm Hull says builders are welcoming extension, but it isn't clear if it's enough time.

"From an industry point of view, we are very pleased about this because it will take a bit of the pressure off the industry itself, take a little bit of pressure off some of the supply and demand, and we think overall it will be a great outcome for consumers and for the building industry.

"It's been a bit of a double whammy, because of COVID the materials aren't arriving into Australia as quickly as they used to, and nationally there has been an overall demand because of these grants so it is creating a problem," Mr Hull says.

Australian Treasury statistics show Queensland had the second highest number of grant applications across the country with 26,293 lodged.

Mr Hull says there are an abundance of problems arising, including limited workers in the region, and though the extension is a good first step, there is more to be done.

"Everywhere is busy so the trades are staying in their hometowns, there's no transit trades pulling up with their car and caravans saying, 'I'm here for a job,' all towns are using and utilising what trades they have in their local areas," he says.

Master Builders Queensland is meeting with the State Government later this week in the hopes of coming up with a solution to give the industry more breathing space to get the job done.