Golden Age: Gold Coast development must increase to meet population boom

Gold Coast Bulletin

DEVELOPMENT on the Gold Coast must increase significantly to meet population demands, warns the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

But industry stakeholders are at odds about threats to meeting demand, with the peak building industry group saying land shortages and labour costs are risks while a subcontractors spokesman has urged a tightening of enforcement of laws covering the building industry and to rein in illegal phoenix operators.


The Star Gold Coast Master plan Development.


CEO Kirsty Chessher-Brown says the rate of construction on the Gold Coast needs to pick up by at least 37 per cent to supply housing needs as the population explodes.

“On the Gold Coast we can expect an extra 38,000 residents a year, a total of 928,000 by 2041,” Ms Chessher-Brown said.

“In development terms that is significant. We need to see a 37 per cent increase based on current construction to hit targets.”

With the Gold Coast hailed as the fastest growing region in Australia, the institute predicted locals could expect to see plenty of action in the next decade.

“It is expected the additional 80 per cent of stock will be consolidation, delivered within the existing urban area on the Gold Coast,” Ms Chessher-Brown said.

“This isn’t necessarily units but town houses, detached houses and split blocks.

“Filling out that missing middle residential option is incredibly important.

“As a lifestyle market, the Gold Coast is a high amenity preferred location so it is really important we monitor land supply and dwelling delivery, and make necessary changes to planning,” Ms Chessher-Brown said.

“Affordability is still there. What is important in terms of planning however is that the scheme is updated over time to match population growth pressures.”

Queensland’s peak building industry group warned a shortage of land and labour in the region must be tackled.


Master Builders Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell.


Master Builders Queensland deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said a recent survey of members found labour prices and a shortage of land remained the most pressing constraints.

“We are finding there is less greenfield land available on the Gold Coast, and the beginning of a skills shortage, but the land shortage will mainly impact housing developments,” Mr Bidwell said.

“Where land is available, it’s at a significant cost.”

Demand for high quality workers on the Gold Coast had also led to what Mr Bidwell described as a “Goldilocks period” for contractors.

“It is a much better market than we saw years ago. Now we have some stability in the system people want more workers but we are starting to see a little bit of pressure,” he said.

Despite concerns, Mr Bidwell said population growth and tourism meant a lot more work for tradies on the Coast, particularly in residential development.


Les Williams from WK Civil speaks on behalf of Gold Coast subcontractors. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily.


Subcontractors Alliance spokesman Les Williams warned a lack of enforcement of laws covering the industry rather than labour costs posed a threat.

“From a subcontractors’ perspective who undertake and underwrite over 80 per cent of the building and construction here, the lack of enforcement of criminal law, corporation law and building law need work,’’ he said.

Mr Williams said further deterrents were needed to rein in illegal phoenix operators, who would transfer assets to other companies when a building company collapsed and would deliberately avoid paying creditors.

“I would say that until the State Government’s new building industry fairness laws are introduced, Gold Coast subcontractors are vulnerable to more significant losses due to illegal phoenix activity and non-payment by construction companies,” he said.

Construction sector

* 24,407 Gold Coast jobs

* 31,313 indirect jobs

* $7,395.1 M in contribution to GRP

* $1,640.4 M in annual wages an salaries


* New houses: 2081

* Residential under 4 storeys: 1089

* Other Residential 4 + storeys: 1016


* Residential $1,384,861,000

* Non-residential $857,347,000

* Total $2,242,206,000



Source: 20 June 2018 https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/business/star-gold-coast-expansion-china-boom-coming-we-need-more-hotels/news-story/18781beefaef43c0566213eda31182e4

Leave a Reply