25 Apr 2024

Building product concerns dismissed: 'The industry is lacking competition'

5:08 pm on 25 April 2024
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There have been concerns about understanding overseas standards for building products. File photo. Photo: 123RF

Construction industry concerns about a potential drop in the quality of building products have been brushed aside as superficial.

The government's recently announced plans to reform the building materials sector will allow builders to rely on code certifications from trusted overseas jurisdictions.

The Combined Building Supplies Cooperative (CBS) said the changes will increase competition and eventually bring down building costs, though it could take two or three years before changes to legislation trickled down.

But the Window & Glass Association said there were huge issues in understanding overseas standards for building products and the trustworthiness of overseas test reports.

Taxpayers' Union campaigns manager Connor Molloy said concerns around the quality of products or the ease of getting replacement parts simply did not hold up.

"Only a special interest industry group could complain about reducing building costs during a housing crisis," Molloy said.

CBS chair Carl Taylor said the changes approved by government have been a long time coming and could only improve competition in the building supply industries.

"And that's what we need. The industry is lacking competition here and that's why the cost of materials across the entire construction spectrum is so expensive at the moment," Taylor said.

"In terms of other industry suppliers, look, a little bit of competition doesn't hurt anyone.

"And if it goes to being able to create more affordable housing, then we certainly support the government's stance on that.

"The previous government did nothing about it. This government, as far as I'm concerned, so far, are doing everything that that we've suggested, so we're pretty chuffed about that."

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