NT’s Building Industry Review Rattles Builders


The Housing Industry in the Northern Territory is hurt by a slew of recommendations made by a sector review ordered by the state government.  The review followed a slowdown in the construction industry.

What has angered the builders is a recommendation by the Cureton Review to create a trust fund to keep aside payments for builders until they complete a project. The Housing Industry Association is also bristling at the suggestion to scrap the Master Builders Association Fidelity Fund and replace it with a government-run residential warranty scheme.

“The guiding principles of the report aim to provide protections for all those involved in the construction chain, including consumers, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers,” Planning Minister Dave Tollner told The ABC.

The Housing Industry Association’s NT executive director, Neilia Ginnane said it was “really important we’re able to maintain a sustainable industry.”

Justin Gill, owner of Abode New Homes said the proposed reforms would be “a red tape nightmare.” The Housing industry is also miffed at the lack of consultation while the body was preparing the review.

In a submission to the government, HIA complained that it had “serious concerns with the Cureton Report and its recommendations.”

The submission argued that proposals like trust fund had no modelling to demonstrate its impact on builders’ cash flow and project costs.

“Industry feedback is that this recommendation alone would send many builders into liquidation,” the submission stated.

Meanwhile, construction materials producer Adelaide Brighton predicted softening of housing construction at Australia’s east coast. According to Chief Executive Martin Brydon housing is already slow in NSW and Victoria. He said the new home markets of NSW and Victoria would stay subdued in 2016 and Queensland will show some progress, the NT News reported.

According to Brydon, the housing market of Western Australia and Northern Territory markets would stay weak. However, price shocks will not affect the underlying demand in housing construction, he added.

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