Tradies urged to meet market
AUSTART Homes has called for local tradesmen to meet the market to keep afloat during the local construction downturn.
Director Phillip Matthews has been working in the building industry for more than 40 years and knows a thing or two about the industry rates.
“We have paid the deposit for a block of land in Port Douglas and Smithfield to build a display home and office - that is how much confidence I have the market will pick up,” he said.
“We are looking for quotes from local sub-contractors to construct our three homes but what we are finding is there isn’t that many tradies out there and some of them are expecting unrealistic trade rates.
“Sub-contractors need to be aware of the state of the industry.
“We are all getting less work at the moment but we have to be very competitive with our prices building 10 houses a year - you won’t get the same profit margin for a house and there’s less work on.
“People need to realise that when the industry is booming a consumer will pay more money but when it is bust - like in Port Douglas at the moment - you’re not going to make as much money.
“I have honestly seen subcontractors who would rather sit on their arse and have no work then do the work at lower rates - it is a strange mentality.
“In a downturn you have to adopt different attitudes and strategies because it is better to get some work than it is to get nothing.”
Mr Matthews is also concerned the region will be left short of tradies once the construction industry picks up because of the prolonged downturn.
“We are going to see a mass exodus with tradies leaving and the tradesmen who are left in Port Douglas will soon become too busy,” he said.
Meeting the market: Austart owners Charmaine and Phil Matthews