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Addressing the skills crisis | The West Australian

Master Builders Association of Western Australia (MBA WA) recently called on the State Government to remove the vaccination mandate for the building and construction industry. MBA WA also called on the State Government to facilitate the entry of skilled overseas workers into WA to help address the significant labour shortage hammering the state’s building and construction industry.

These measures could assist the industry with the many challenges it’s currently facing. With state borders now being open and WA having one of the highest levels of vaccination rates in the country, there is sense in allowing those who can work in the industry return to work.

Without fail, the building and construction industry complied with the public health directions in getting vaccination rates to the highest possible levels but now it is time to get on with business and retrieve a full workforce.

The State and Federal Government measures introduced in 2020, to build a strong pipeline of work, has been important in supporting employment and the economy, and it has done its job. However, through the loss of skilled trades from the mandatory vaccination laws, border restrictions and lack of overseas migration, we simply do not have the workforce to fulfil much of the ongoing demand.

Understandably people want their homes and their commercial projects finished, but there simply isn’t enough people in the industry to keep up with the demand of work out there, and industry is facing unprecedented challenges with material shortages and price escalations, in addition to the labour crisis.

Along with suffering serious skill shortages, the industry has been hit by massive price escalations, material and supply shortages, and global supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with builders waiting weeks and months for critical building materials.

If you are building, it is important to understand these issues and remain in constant communication with your builder, and be patient and understanding. If you are looking to build a new home talk to a Master Builder first, who can explain the process and answer all your questions.

If you are a member of MBA WA, you will be fought for through our advocacy, you will receive the latest information regarding the work we are doing on the skills shortage, vaccine mandate and other industry issues.

We will continue to provide important information to the industry, which can be provided to clients. MBA WA will continue to advocate on behalf of the building and construction industry and we appreciate the great support of our members.

Consider becoming a member today. Speak to our membership team on 9476 9800 or email us at membership@mbawa.com to receive the latest news from MBA WA.

Q&A with MBA Housing and Construction Director Jason Robertson

The Question

My neighbour has approached me – they are wanting to build a shed and workshop, which will be right on the boundary/fence line. I do not have any issues, just that I would prefer the wall colour facing my property matches the fence, as the workshop colour is going to be completely different. Any advice?

The Answer

Firstly it sounds like you have a good neighbour. It is always good when these things are discussed upfront and before any works commence. With the shed and workshop, even if it is right on the boundary line, which is permissible in certain circumstances, the matter of the colour has a couple of aspects to it.

The shed and workshop are buildings by definition and not common property unlike, say, the dividing fencing itself.

The responsibility for meeting all requirements of any approvals from the council and requirements of the Building Code and manufacturers rests with the owner. In this case, that is your neighbour – this is important, along with considering any issues, however unlikely, with insurance covers.

Often neighbours will agree to painting a wall a different colour but the responsibility of maintenance and everything associated with it is not the adjoining neighbour’s responsibility.

As an example, if there was an issue with the paint – be it the wrong colour for meeting council requirements or something else – it would be up to the building owner to rectify.

If your neighbour is happy to accommodate a different colour or facade on your side, it would be recommended you discuss with them such responsibilities. They may not be aware themselves.

Happy neighbours are good neighbours!

CONTACT Master Builders WA, 9476 9800, www.mbawa.com

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