As a result of our efforts earlier this year, our clients find themselves in an enviable position; having Development Approvals ready to proceed to documentation and construction. In some cases, these approvals were achieved through hard-fought legal proceedings, which started before “hotspots” required firefighters rather than doctors.
However, the process of entering these next project phases is being stalled; a lack of tenant confidence, protracted lease or purchase negotiations (using the pandemic as an excuse for inaction) or through lack of support from financial institutions, despite lending rates being at a historic low.
This is a frustrating situation, fuelled by uncertainty, not only for our client’s businesses but also for our own.
A Confidence Booster Shot
The construction industry needs a shot of confidence. Clients and consultants drive a wide range and scale of building projects and approvals to ensure continuing employment for one of the largest job sectors in the country. While our governments are seeking ways to stimulate the economy (other than just drowning the next generations in debt), we need to harness more direct ways to stimulate and encourage confidence and productivity.
Our pipeline of Development Approvals include a variety of grassroots projects:
- short-term accommodation apartments,
- child care centres
- neighbourhood centres
- suburban shopping centres
When they proceed – and it needs to happen soon – these projects will form part of the new wave of construction activity that local workers and their families desperately need.
These projects are not the huge infrastructure projects State governments favour; such leviathans can only be undertaken by a small group of multi-national construction companies.
These are grassroots projects. The type that suit a wide variety of experienced local builders and their sub-contractors offering employment during construction and for others into the future.
Projects that are “Good to Go”
The economy is driven by small to medium scale businesses which employ local expertise with profits remaining onshore. An easy, quick and effective option to stimulate the economy and demonstrate confidence to the community is for state and local governments to encourage local authorities to expedite the approval of more development applications so that more building projects are “good to go”.
The current process is slowing, exacerbated by those who do not understand that in the private sector, time is money. The planning approval process has become obsessed with a focus on minor details or matters that are not relevant at the DA stage. If the application is generally in order and is considered approvable, approve it and let’s get on with creating work.
This action will be seen as a confidence stimulus to a market that is still prepared to take risks and make decisions but needs to see some leadership and direction.
We’re waiting for a vaccine as though nothing will happen until we have one. Let’s inject a good dose of confidence and certainty by releasing the log jam of development applications and delivering good feasible projects to an industry starving for opportunity.
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