Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Building Bridges Not Road Blocks

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Building Bridges Not Road Blocks

Article excerpt

THINK the current construction downturn is bad?

It's not a patch on the horror unleashed on the marketplace when GST was introduced in 2000.

Just ask CEO of frame and truss manufacturer Sid's Place, Ross Simon.

C[pounds sterling]Our company has been in the construction supply business since 1950 and I have worked for Sid's Place since 1979,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]In that time there has been some very sharp downturns.

C[pounds sterling]I remember just after the GST was introduced we did not have a single job on our books to manufacture; very scary.

C[pounds sterling]This downturn is nowhere near as severe, but I believe it could be more protracted mostly due to the high cost of land.C[yen]

Mr Simon is forthright, then, when suggesting ways to improve the situation. But he admits steep land prices is a C[pounds sterling]complex and seriousC[yen] problem.

C[pounds sterling]It must be tackled at all levels of government,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]It also has to include the development and finance industries. Overlaying all this is a perception in a large part of our community that growth is bad, so they are in favour of the high costs.

C[pounds sterling]This will simply put more and more members of our community out of reach of the great Australian dream of owning their own home and will create social disparity that I believe most Australians find totally unacceptable.

C[pounds sterling]On the positive side, the reason why prices are also high on the Sunshine Coast is that people want to live here. I am not one who believes there should be no more growth on the Sunshine Coast as I believe that we can minimise our impact on the environment with good planning.C[yen]

Mr Simon, however, expressed frustration at the length of time some projects can take. …

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