The Australian economy may be improving, but experts say the worst is yet to come for Queensland developers who have been particularly hard hit by the financial crisis.
Former Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen used to count the number of cranes on Brisbane’s skyline to measure the health of the state’s economy. Apply the late Sir Joh’s test today and the results are dismal.
Around a dozen cranes hung over the heart of Australia’s third largest city before the financial crisis – now there is around six. And the situation is much the same in the construction sector Queensland-wide.
“The commercial sector is about 40 per cent down on year to date turnover, we’ve had over 20,000 redundancies out of the commercial sector and the latest report to September 2009 showed that we had $3.3 billion of projects that had been deferred and another $500 million worth of projects which had been abandoned,” said John Crittall from the Master Builders Association.
“So yes, the downturn has hit us the hardest of all states by far.”
Mr Crittall says within Queensland, the Gold Coast is the worst affected area. He says the glitzy tourist zone has become a construction dead zone.