Search for a stronger South Australia

Today’s housing and jobs data underscores the need for every South Australian to focus on delivering solutions for a stronger South Australia in 2016, Master Builders SA says.

The State’s unemployment rate improved marginally to 7.2 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis for December, still the worst in the nation behind Tasmania’s 6.8 per cent unemployment rate, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Building approvals show a further contraction. New housing approvals for the past 12 months have fallen 5 per cent to $2.7 billion while commercial work has shown a 16 per cent increase to $1.7 billion for the 12 months to November.

However, South Australia remains the only State to record a fall in the number of approvals compared to its 10-year average (10,880 dwellings approved over the past 12 months down 3 per cent), while only Western Australia and the Northern Territory have recorded a more detrimental outcome compared to the past 12 months (South Australian approvals down 5 per cent).

Everything needs to be on the table for a stronger South Australia, Master Builders SA Chief Executive Officer Ian Markos said.

“There is no doubt that South Australia is facing tough times and industry has already reacted by consolidating where it needs to,” Mr Markos said.

“We cannot afford to reach the end of 2016 without working together to build a stronger State. Everything needs to be on the table – any creative solution – to deliver a more productive South Australia, and everyone has a responsibility to work together in good faith to get the best outcome.

“Planning reforms being considered by Parliament are squarely aimed at improving productivity and boosting economic outcomes and all parties should be focusing on the best outcome for the State. That same approach needs to be applied to everything we do. For example, how can we reform the public sector to reverse the fact that almost half of every tax dollar is spent on public sector wages?

“We are a creative State with intelligent people – 2016 is the year where we need to use those skills to the advantage of a stronger shared future.”

Download the full release here.