Construction Braces for Lag

Gold Coast Bulletin – Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 – Page 4

THE third quarter of the year is set to be crunch time for many of our builders working on high-rise towers and major commercial projects across the Gold Coast.

A snapshot of the sector taken by Rider Levell Bucknall for January to March known as the Crane Index shows 33 cranes dotting the skyline, an increase of four from the prior period.

Most of these are in residential – 24 in total – with the rest from the health, mixed-use , commercial and hotel sectors.

The worry for builders is what happens when the work runs out.

Condev Construction boss Steve Marais said his staff was busy delivering the 17-storey Natura and 15-storey Cannes towers in Burleigh Heads and Surfers Paradise respectively.

But he expects that to change.

“Our construction sector has a natural lag. The virus hits now but we do not feel it for three months time. Three to nine months is when the big impact is going to happen on the construction industry,” Mr Marais said.

He expects developers will be hitting the pause button for future projects in the current climate.

“We won’t be invoicing those in three months time or nine months.”

Mr Marais said subcontractors would be the workers under most pressure.

He called on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission to relax its Minimum Financial Reporting requirements, which are to ensure builders and contractors are operating a financially sustainable business.

“The industry is going to hurt. That just helps with the recovery process.”

He said Condev had not yet applied for the JobKeeper subsidy but may do so next month.

Urbis Gold Coast director Matthew Schneider said a number of projects hadbeen deferred since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The third quarter of 2020 will be absolutely crucial, not only for the property sector but for the city as a whole,” he said.

“Many of the fundamentals are in place to support a successful recovery but it’s going to take the right approach from everyone – the industry, council, government and the community. A good project before COVID is going to be a good project after it. If we are committed to working together, and with the right mindset, I am confident that we’ll see positive signs of recovery.”

Copyright © 2020 News Pty Limited

This clipping is from the April 14 issue of The Gold Coast Bulletin Digital Edition. To subscribe, visit https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/.