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HIA raises concerns over government’s fuel emission standards’ impact on the building industry


The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has voiced significant concerns regarding the implications of the Federal Government’s proposed fuel emissions standards on the costs associated with the building industry, particularly for tradespeople. Simon Croft, the HIA’s Chief Executive of Industry & Policy, emphasized the potential for these standards to elevate the cost of doing business. “The Housing Industry Association is concerned about the impact the Federal Governments fuel emissions standards will have on the cost of doing business for tradies,” Croft noted.

Despite assurances from the Federal Government that the new emissions standards would not increase the costs of utes, 4WD’s, or other light-commercial vehicles, nor limit accessibility to these types of vehicles in the future, Croft highlighted discrepancies in predictions within the industry. He stated that other industry experts have developed models indicating that the new regulations will introduce significant upfront costs and likely compel car manufacturers to reduce the availability of vehicle types critical to the building industry.

Croft also pointed out that the building sector has not been directly consulted on these new standards, despite their potential direct impacts. “The building industry hasn’t been directly consulted on these new emission standards, despite their potential direct impacts and we would encourage the Federal Government to engage with our industry on the timing and introduction of the proposed new laws,” he declared. This lack of consultation occurs amid challenging times for the industry, which has experienced substantial construction price increases over the past three years due to material and labor shortages, as well as a raft of changes in regulations relating to building, work health and safety, taxation, and business compliance.

Adding further costs, complexities, or regulatory barriers at this juncture, Croft argued, would exacerbate the challenges faced by those in the building industry, potentially affecting housing supply and affordability. “Any further added costs, complexities or regulatory impediments being layered over the top of our industry at this time will only make their jobs harder and have downstream impacts on housing supply and affordability,” he expressed.

Although the HIA acknowledges the intent behind the proposed emission standards to reduce fuel costs and lower emissions, Croft mentioned the uncertainty and lack of available information as significant concerns that hinder the industry’s ability to prepare for the changes effectively. He called on the government to provide transparency by releasing their modeling. “Therefore, we would encourage the Government to release their modelling to provide clarity and certainty on the new proposed laws to allow industry to adequately gauge the impact of the laws,” Croft asserted.

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