National President address to the National Leaders Summit 2023
Date: Monday, 7 February 2023
Speakers: Craig Edmunds, National President
Topics: Master Builders Australia focus for 2023 – the long term sustainability of the industry
Good morning and welcome.
I’d like to acknowledge my fellow national board members and also our immediate past national president Simon Butt. Also member association board members that are here and CEOs and also CBUS representatives including Wayne Swan and Justin Arter, ladies and gentlemen.
It is great to be back at Parliament House for our annual national leaders’ events.
The BBQ last night was a fantastic opportunity to join a large contingent of parliamentarians from around Australia to welcome in the new parliamentary year and for them to hear about the big issues impacting the industry.
Today, at our National Leaders Summit, we can do a deeper dive into those issues.
This morning we will cover housing, industrial relations, economic conditions, building regulation, and building materials.
We appreciate the time of our 5 speakers that will join us this morning.
The building and construction industry is at a cross roads.
The forecasts that we have released this week show that there is a bumpy road ahead.
While building material costs appear to have plateaued, a severe skills shortage still drives labour costs. Add to that concerns around economic headwinds around the country due to international uncertainty that still continues and rising interest rates at a local level
Yet we know that the country has shortage of housing, and insufficient and outdated infrastructure whether that be social, defence, commercial, or transport.
As a consequence, our 2023 focus at Master Builders Australia is on the long-term sustainability of the industry.
We need an environment that maximises our capability of being one of the largest contributors to economic activity.
Remembering that for every $1 spent we return $3 into the economy.
We are only surpassed by some mining activities on that score.
Economic conditions need to be right to encourage private spending from mum and dads right through to institutional investors, coupled with government spending in our industry, to meet the needs of our community.
In return, the building and supply chain needs to be working efficiently and effectively to be a highly productive contributor to economic growth.
Our priorities for this year will therefore focus on the major productivity impacts on our industry. Those being:
- The right economic conditions and regulatory framework that encourages private spending in the built environment.
- Delivery of government spending on vital infrastructure through more favourable risk sharing arrangements.
- Working with industry and governments to ensure we have overall a well skilled people to meet the future demand.
- Promoting sustainability best practice in the industry including building quality and resilience, safety, mental health, diversity, business conduct, and community engagement.
- Fighting against industrial relations laws that will create instability and unproductive building and construction industry, particularly at a time when the economy cannot afford it.
2023 will be an important year for us in resetting in a post COVID environment.
Master Builders Australia is proud of the long history of over 130 years in representing its members and we will continue to do so this year.
In reflecting on that history of the organisation, I acknowledge that the oldest Member Association, NSW, who will celebrate their 150th this year.
No doubt there will be some time to celebrate that milestone with them during the year.
I look forward to the presentations and discussions that will occur this morning and during the day and please take the opportunity and enjoy it.
National Director, Media & Public Affairs
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