Labor asks building industry to do its dirty work

The Victorian building industry has been directed to cease designing and constructing homes with native hardwood timber by the Labor Government.

In a recent letter to the Housing Industry Association (HIA), Labor “strongly recommends” builders cease using native hardwood varieties in flooring, staircases, beams, doors, windows, architectural features, decking and cladding.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath said clearly Labor is dictating consumer choice but seeking to hide behind the HIA, labelling the directive “outrageous”.

“This is Labor’s poor attempt to manipulate product demand to justify its appalling decision to close Victoria’s native hardwood timber industry.

“Local building companies have said it should be up to the government to explain supply issues of construction products, not make them the bearer of bad news.

“Builders are already being hit with increased costs and reduced availability of materials, this is yet another challenge in the midst of housing and rental crisis.”

During question time today Ms Bath challenged the Minister for Housing, Harriet Shing on the government’s ability to deliver its promised 80,000 new homes a year, citing its latest directive.

“Minister Shing obfuscated, claiming the question was not in her portfolio.

“There is no way Labor can even deliver a fraction of its promised housing given Victoria’s material supply shortages, rapidly escalating construction costs and workforce issues.

“The distressing reality is that Victorian hardwood is regularly preferred by builders and consumers for its bushfire resistant properties, compared to overseas alternatives harvested under less stringent environmental standards – our hardwood should be part of the solution.

“The devil is always in the detail with Labor, this is a government that’s all spin and zero substance.

“Meanwhile life gets much harder for all Victorians under Labor.”