Portfolio a building win

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 27-Sep-2017

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THE Victorian Liberal party’s appointment of a shadow minister for the building industry has been welcomed by an industry association.

Member for Gembrook Brad Battin has taken on the role alongside his shadow portfolio of emergency services.

Master Builders Association of Victoria chief executive Radley de Silva said the MBAV has long called for a minister for building and construction.

“This is a step toward recognition of the enormous contribution – more than 40 per cent of taxation revenues – that our sector contributes to the Victorian economy,” he said.

“We hope this new ministerial appointment will make it possible to gain traction on building projects that are needed so urgently. It makes clear sense for Victoria to have a minister devoted to overseeing the industry to drive strategy and change for the benefit of communities, individuals and businesses.” 

The building industry is affected by a range of other portfolios, with ministries of planning, treasury, finance, education/training, skills, consumer affairs, energy/environment, infrastructure, roads/ports, industrial relations, regional development, small business/innovation/trade and mental health. 

Regulators include Attorney General, WorkSafe, Victorian Building Authority and VMIA.  

“We hope this shadow ministry will have the authority to lead and coordinate decision‐making across the portfolios on behalf of the building industry, and this could be reinforced by the minister reporting directly to the leader of the party,” Mr de Silva said.

“Building and construction is our state’s second‐largest full‐time employer, and is an influential component of numerous ministerial portfolios already, but responsibilities are scattered too broadly to have the singular focus it needs.

“As Victoria grows more rapidly than any other state, the importance of a minister who can guide progress and coordinate the efforts of other cross‐portfolio ministers grows with it. It’s crucial that the government seizes this opportunity for progress.”

Mr de Silva said this is a time when change and fast action on critical projects are of the utmost importance to Victorians, like long‐needed planning reforms and trades registration. 

“But if we match the need for reform with the ability to execute those reforms to drive jobs, business viability and growth, it is exciting to think of what could be achieved for the good of us all,” he said.

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