Property Council of Australia welcomes construction skills boost for housing supply increase

Emphasis on skills to support ageing population and fill gaps in industry should be prioritised, said council's chief executive

Property Council of Australia welcomes construction skills boost for housing supply increase


By Abigail Adriatico

The Property Council of Australia has expressed its support for the Coalition’s emphasis on the boosting of construction skills in order to increase the supply of new homes.

The Coalition had recently pledged that it will focus on making sure that there are enough skilled and temporary skilled visas for those people that had skills in building and construction in order to support local tradies when it came to increasing the supply for new housing.

Apart from this, the Coalition was also intending to reduce the number of permanent migrants to 140,000 as well as cut down on the number of students coming into the country.

Meanwhile, Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said that net overseas migration should only reach 160,000 as migration needed to be properly managed, further stating that planning for it has not been accomplished.

“That’s why when you move suburbs, you can’t get your kids into childcare, you can’t get into a GP, the roads are gridlocked already,” said Dutton.

“Nobody can pretend you can build homes overnight, so the migration programme is the only way that you can really make serious adjustments quickly, so that you can allow people the opportunity to buy a house.”

Mike Zorbas, the Property Council of Australia’s chief executive, said that priority needed to be placed on the skills needed to support the ageing population as well as fill the gaps across various industries.

“We have consistently supported a targeted reduction to overall migration numbers from the post-pandemic peak, but the key to addressing housing affordability remains increasing the total number of new homes we build,” said Zorbas.

“We need faster zoning, approvals, and last mile infrastructure but most of all we need the people who will build our cities.”

Only about 1.8% of migrant workers that came into the country over the past two decades possessed construction skills and Zorbas argued the importance of boosting the number of people with such skills in order to help ease the housing supply crisis.

Zorbas also noted that the cap on the number of international students should be made with caution as they only accounted for 4% of the country’s rental market and were not the cause of the current crisis in housing.

“The only way to properly address the nation’s housing deficit is to build more homes using domestic and global investment, and to do this we need to improve investment settings, incentivise housing approvals and fix broken state planning systems, and boost high quality housing options including retirement living, purpose-built student accommodation and build-to-rent housing,” said Zorbas.

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