Master Builders Australia - Ber Should Stay 1

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6th April 2010, 01:12pm - Views: 551

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Media Release


April 2010

BER Should Stay


Statement by Mr Wilhelm Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer

The BER remains the right economic strategy and should be allowed to run its course

according Master Builders Australia, the peak body for the building and construction

industry in its Pre Budget Submission.

Mr Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO of Master Builders Australia said, “The Government’s well

targeted BER stimulus has underpinned what would have otherwise been a certain

collapse in commercial building activity across Australia leading to job losses as high as


He said, “Instead the BER has been a crucial

component in

keeping Australia out of


by contributing at least one

per cent to GDP in 2009/10

and has therefore

played a vital role underpinning confidence and employment.

“The stimulus designed to boost the domestically-orientated building industry is a proven


successful formula in supporting the economy from the effects of an economic

downturn given the strong flow-on or multiplier effects of the building industry to a number

of other industries including manufacturing.”  

“Master Builders’ national economic surveys clearly show that the building and

construction industry overall has managed to stabilise largely due to programs such as the



“The BER was the correct policy response

to the GFC and should be allowed to run its


“The program was appropriately designed to phase down over time but to pull the rug out

from under the commercial building industry with so many sectors

still ‘doing it tough’

would be the wrong policy approach.”


“The impact and consequences of GFC are not over.  Australia may have fared better but

there remains considerable global economic uncertainty which sees Australia remain

vulnerable to what can best be described as fragile global economic conditions.

Mr Harnisch said, “Master Builders does not agree with calls for the BER to end early and

certainly not when the economic and employment benefits are demonstrably clear and in

circumstances when the recovery in the building and construction industry and the broader

Australian economy remains tentative.


Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO, 0402 039 039

Peter Jones, Chief Economist, 0403 440 838

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