GOOD VIBES State reaps reward of city building boom
MAJOR construction projects are proceeding at record levels in Tasmania and the Master Builders group says it is a billion-dollar boom set to bring huge benefits to the state.
Five cranes currently dominate the Hobart skyline, enabling work on projects such as the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment, Parliament Square, Myer and a UTAS performing arts centre.
“Commercial activity for us has never been as high,” Master Builders Tasmania executive director Michael Kerschbaum said.
“We are employing around 12,000 Tasmanians as a result of this boom ... we are doing fabulously.”
s been a great last few years and it looks like it won’t slow down any time soon MASTER BUILDERS TASMANIA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MICHAEL KERSCHBAUM
COMMERCIAL building and construction in Tasmania is at record levels, Master Builders Tasmania executive director Michael Kerschbaum says.
With the industry predicted to continue its rapid growth, Mr Kerschbaum said if the state could increase its rate of population growth to national levels, then it could take full advantage of the boom.
There are currently five cranes dotting the Hobart skyline working on developments totalling more than $1 billion.
Premier Will Hodgman trumpeted the success story on social media last week and the positive vibe has continued as Hobart this weekend hosts the Master Builders Australia 2017 National Conference.
“Commercial activity for us has never been as high,” Mr Kerschbaum said. “We are employing around 12,000 Tasmanians as a result of this boom, and percentage wise it has us as the biggest employer per sector.
“It’s been a great last few years and it looks like it won’t slow down any time soon.”
Demographer Bernard Salt, a guest speaker at the conference, said with the growth in population around the world, the construction industry was set for rapid expansion.
“He told us that the building and construction industry is set to grow rapidly in the future,” Mr Kerschbaum said. “He said it is set to be one of the biggest sectors in Australia, enjoying about 30 per cent growth, which is really exciting.”
Mr Kerschbaum said ensuring the national boom was replicated in Tasmania was about ensuring a successful population growth strategy.
“Victoria is going nuts, but if we can get near the national average then we stand a good chance,” he said.
Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey said the positivity among businesses and the community was palpable.
“I can’t see this stopping for some time — there are a couple more big projects in the pipeline too, such as the Odeon redevelopment,” she said. “Business is more confident too because every tradie needs a toasted sandwich and a coffee or something like that.”
She said next on her wishlist would be a large convention centre and more accommodation in the backpacker and affordable market.
Tasmanian Small Business Council CEO Robert Mallett said the sight of several cranes in the Hobart skyline sent a positive wave through the business sector.
While the retail sector is struggling for growth and some small businesses are doing it tough, he said the clear evidence of big business and government willing to invest millions in Tasmania had a flow-on effect.
“Overall, what this does is give us in the small business sector a sense of security and a sense that there is confidence out there, that good things are happening, and if we hang in there for a bit longer then we will see the benefit of that,” Mr Mallett said.