“The Opposition Leader the Hon. Bill Shorten MP’s plan to focus on policies to underpin a strong economy, including home ownership, better vocational training and jobs for our young people and investment in infrastructure outlined in his speech to the National Press Club are vital issues for the building and construction industry,” Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“The Opposition Leader’s recognition of their fundamental importance is broadly in line with Master Builders Strong Building, Strong Economy policy platform,” he said.

“Master Builders welcomes the focus on trade training for Australian young people that leads to rewarding careers,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“Master Builders has never considered trade apprenticeships to be inferior to a university degree and, with the current completion rate for apprentices at around 50%, is supportive of initiatives to support a greater number of young people to complete their apprenticeships. Master Builders commits to participating in the Opposition Leader’s proposed National Skills Summit,” he said.

“Keeping home ownership within reach of everyday Australians through more affordable housing options including affordable and social housing must be a priority for policy makers,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“First home buyers should not take second place in securing affordable home ownership but neither should investors, including those who negatively gear, become the scape goats or be punished as part of finding a workable solution,” he said.

“Master Builders has a five step plan for more affordable housing which is based on encouraging a cooperative approach by all levels of government to remove the structural impediments to increasing the housing supply and addressing the deposit gap for first home buyers,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“An industrial regulator with appropriately strong powers such the ABCC is vital to underpinning increased productivity, jobs and training in the building and construction industry and Master Builders calls on the Opposition Leader to recognise a proper role for the ABCC in restoring the rule of law in preparing his industrial relations policy for the next Federal Election,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

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