Still in positive on approvals
per cent in the past 12 months.
“While we are 16 per cent down on the previous month, I think we need to concentrate on how we are tracking over 12 months,” Mr Bannah said.
“From the previous year of 1086, this current 12 months we are ahead of that with 1166; that is positive for our region.
“If you look back in 18month blocks, today we are we are sitting at 100s (of building approvals per month); 18 months before we were in 8085, 18 months prior to that we were 74-77. So we are improving, albeit slowly.
“It is still very patchy. You will talk to some builders who are slow and say it is dry, but you will run into others who are becoming increasingly busy. So it’s patchy but still positive
“We would love it to be better but it is incline and has been for last three years.
“Occasionally you’ll get a drop one month to the other, but from an annual point of view we are still about 100 in front of last year.”
Mr Bannah said what the region truly needs is “a shot in the arm”, in the form of a major project.
“I wish one of these major projects would kick in; it is what the industry needs and I am aware of a number of other projects waiting for someone to start on a major project,” he said. “The region lacks a major project. If you think of Cairns’ position, about every two years we’ve had a major project.
“We took this matter up with local state members recently in Cairns; you go back and look at Southern Access Rd and all the work down there; you look at Cairns Hospital: while there is some work still going on there the overall new work is finished, and Tobruk Pool is well underway; the back of that project is broken and coming to fruition.”
Taking Aquis aside, Mr Bannah said there were several major projects that would help the Cairns building industry.
“This Aspial Corporation project on Spence St is what the region needs. If we can get their Nova8 towers on line ... and if Benny Wu gets his Acacia Court Hotel redevelopment going, along with a couple of developers who have some $10 to $12 million projects around the town, it’s the kick we need.
“Tower cranes breed cranes: you get one tower crane up and you get a second and third, and that is what industry needs.
“We rely on the commercial market and we haven’t had a lot in recent years.
“If you look at the Gold Coast it is 7.6 per cent up over the year, and we are 7.4 per cent.
“While we can’t be classed with the Gold Coast and we don’t want to be, it is a good reference point.
“You talk to industry stakeholders, particularly suppliers, for a region that is still travelling steadily they are not doing too bad.”
Master Builders deputy executive director Paul Bidwell said despite the results for July, the longer-term outlook remains strong.
“Approvals during the past 12 months are still strong, with total approvals for Queensland up by 15.6 per cent (seasonally adjusted). We also know the unit approvals were largely responsible for the result in July, dropping by a massive 31.4 per cent.
“While there is a reasonably strong pipeline of work in Queensland, particularly for the residential sector, there is still a lot of scope for the Government to provide support in the form of infrastructure spending in regional Queensland.”
WAVERING TREND: Building approvals the Far North dropped in July, but year to date the figures remain positive.