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Building industry debate continues

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The Hodgman Government and the Opposition are trading barbs over building safety in Tasmania.

It follows yesterday's summit agreeing on a national approach on flammable cladding and skyrocketing insurance premiums, although Canberra ruled out chipping in for rectification works.

Executive Director of Master Builders Tasmania Matthew Pollock argues the industry here is still in good shape, but the national and international insurance markets are beginning to take a toll.

"The building industry here is as healthy as perhaps it's ever been," he said. 

"The risk here is that we really need more people in the industry at the moment; we need more surveyors, more builders, more designers - and this just puts another road block in front of the pipeline of work that we know we've got ahead of us."

The Prime Minister's call to pass the buck onto state governments on building rectification works is apparently not raising eyebrows in Tasmania's construction sector.

Mr Pollock agrees it is a state government issue, but says all governments have committed to the Shergold-Weir report.

"...which was a report into the issues around compliance and enforcement in the building industry and particularly around non-confroming building products so that was something that we were asking for leading up to the meeting. From this point, really what we'd like to see is that implementation occurs as fast as possible." 

He says Labor's concerns - there there are still dozens of buildings with flamming cladding in Tasmania - have already been addressed by an audit, and the industry now needs support.

"It is a little unfortunate to see the Opposition focusing on the definitions under a report released more than a year ago rather than the immediate problem which is ensuring that work continues and that this insurance crisis doesn't spill into the industry and threaten jobs and livelihoods."

The Government maintains those issues have been addressed.


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