Blueprint to give tradies their say on building industry

HUNDREDS of regional tradies will have their say on how to make the building industry stronger through a new construction industry "blueprint".

While the building industry is showing some buoyancy, Master Builders believes the ConstructionQ conference could provide the vision to develop the industry in the longer term.

Deputy executive director Paul Bidwell said the vital conference, expected to attract up to 400 workers from across Queensland, would map out measures to ensure growth and highlight issues plaguing the industry for the past decade.

"This is a great opportunity to work with the Queensland Government in charting a course for growth and to shape the policy on issues that have a major impact on builders and trade contractors across Queensland," he said.

Mr Bidwell said regional builders would have a direct say on what they needed to keep things ticking outside the capital.

He said his industry did not like "things that are just talk" but he had heard positive feedback about similar conferences for the tourism and resources sector.

Housing and Public Works Minister Tim Mander said Queensland was showing 24 months of consecutive growth and the total number of trend dwelling approvals was now 64.3% higher than in January, 2012.

He said the industry was a significant employer in Queensland and contributed about $60 billion to the economy each year

"ConstructionQ is about ... putting in place a vision which will unleash the industry's full potential and generate benefits for decades to come," he said.

"To get the best possible plan we need to hear from those in the industry about where they would like to see the industry go and how we should approach future challenges and opportunities."

Affordable housing, through driving down costs, was one way to move the industry forward, Mr Bidwell said.

Australia and Queensland have not taken to pre-fabrication but he said that was one option, albeit with issues, while innovation in building materials and processes was another.

Mr Bidwell said scrapping stamp duty, and other state tax reform, also would give the industry a boost but he was aware there was no magic wand for that.

"There needs to be start of a conversation about reforming state taxes," he said.

Mr Bidwell said industry confidence was buoyant but that was not necessarily translating into businesses faring well.

He said residential building approvals had improved but commercial was still flat.

"The recovery is not guaranteed. It can't be taken for granted," he said.

Mr Bidwell said some regions were faring better than others, noting Central Queensland was doing it quite tough coming off the resources boom.

"Mackay is struggling now. We've heard some horror stories coming out of Central Queensland as well," he said.

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