Construction costs deter building projects

By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.com.au

HIGH construction costs are preventing the completion of some local building projects, according to agents, building designers and even Gladstone City Council.

This was the case for accommodation-type buildings, with a number of council approved building projects on the books for years, while others may not proceed at all.

Raine and Horne Real Estate principal Peter Richardson said the lack of large construction firms in Gladstone to take on major projects compounded the problem.

'Construction costs are an important factor affecting major developments,' he said.

Although construction companies in South-East Queensland were able to call on a big workforce, 'it is costly to bring them here where they would be up for accommodation costs and living away allowance'.

He said he expected bigger building companies would headquarter in Gladstone as the demand grew.

Gladstone City planning and assessment manager Andrew Kearns said the council knew of delays to projects caused by high construction costs.

'Council is aware of it ? it's been mentioned to us before,' he said.

Building costs sometimes result in investor groups revising their projects to make them more cost-effective.

'You just can't get high enough rent to pay for the construction costs,' according to building designer Allan Jeffery.

Mr Jeffery said he had often been in a position to advise investors against particular projects because of the high costs.

He said the costs could sometimes be offset by obtaining less expensive allotments or by selling off the plan.



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