2 August 2022

“The latest interest rate rise is further confirmation that fighting inflation, protecting growth, and boosting productivity must be the focus of the Federal Government’s policy agenda,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“The Reserve Bank’s warning that there will be further rate rises over coming months followed by a slowing in economic growth is of grave concern.  In the residential building sector builders who have borne the brunt of inflationary pressure for many months now face reduced demand for new homebuilding,” she said.

“We understand the severity of the challenges we face and the need to normalise monetary policy, but interest rates are a blunt instrument, and we don’t want to see a situation where the Reserve Bank is left on its own to tackle inflation. We want to see the Federal Government aligning all its economic levers to ensure that they are pulling in the same direction,” Denita Wawn said.

“Policy initiatives including clearing the visa backlog for migrants and increasing the flow of migration, support for increased digitalisation particularly in industries where uptake is low such as building and construction and for increasing the numbers of women in secure well-paid occupations in our industry are just a few examples of measures that will boost productivity and growth,” she said.

“Ensuring that there remains an effective and appropriately resourced agency to provide specialist regulation and oversight for the construction sector will ensure that inflation and productivity challenges are not exacerbated in the immediate term and that longer term economic recovery is not undermined,” Denita Wawn said.

“Master Builders has called for a cautious approach to interest rate rises and we welcome the Reserve Bank’s confirmation that it has not pre-determined the size or timing of future rate increases,” Denita Wawn said.

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