Border relaxation the best booster of all

WA’s property industry has welcomed Premier Mark McGowan’s announcement that State border controls will be relaxed on March 3, saying it will provide much-needed relief to businesses hampered by chronic labour and material shortages.

Property Council WA Executive Director, Sandra Brewer, said the announcement had been anxiously awaited, and is greatly welcomed by industry.

“Skills and labour shortages have created serious challenges for the development industry, which have become more acute in recent months,” Ms Brewer explained.

“Property Council research released in January found cost escalations and labour shortages were significantly impacting the apartment pipeline and risking housing affordability.”

“Today’s announcement will provide a much-needed relief valve, enabling the influx of skilled migrants and visitors to give local businesses the reinforcements needed to continue and complete the housing, health and infrastructure projects that WA needs.”

The border announcement coincided with the reintroduction of restrictions, including capacity limits for certain venues. The Property Council acknowledges the need to slow, where possible, the spread of the Omicron variant and said health measures needed to be constantly reviewed. However, Ms Brewer endorsed the Premier’s comments on working in office environments.

“We support the Premier’s encouragement for people to work from the office and to continue supporting small businesses such as food, beverage and hospitality retailers,” Ms Brewer said.

“Businesses have been preparing for reopening over recent months and applied many lessons from the east coast experience.” 

“Businesses have already enacted robust workforce plans that adapt to greater transmission of COVID-19 in our community.”

“Perth is one of the few cities in Australia that has not been subject to maximum office occupancy rules or government work from home directions. Actively discouraging people from working in office environments would only undermine the recovery of Perth’s CBD,” Ms Brewer concluded.

Media contact: Emily Young | M 0475 161 328 | E [email protected]