Cairns building industry lagging behind rest of Queensland
HOME building approvals in Queensland's mining towns continue to charge along while those in Cairns languish among the state's worst.The booming mining town of Mackay underwent a 115 per cent increase in building approvals in the three months to September this year compared with the same time last year.
Toowoomba, Gladstone and Townsville also reported big increases in approvals.
The Gold Coast (-29 per cent) and Sunshine Coast (-28 per cent) were the worst performers, while Cairns (-16 per cent) and Brisbane (-19 per cent) also dipped.
The mixed results mean Queensland's overall approval figures were down 1 per cent for the quarter.
Master Builders regional manager Ron Bannah said confidence needed to return to the market before the figures picked up in Cairns.
"We would obviously like to think that there's light at the end of the tunnel, but I think it's an issue of confidence still," Mr Bannah said.
"With uncertainty in the market, people are unsure of whether to take the step and build or to sit back and wait."
He said conditions in the local construction industry were "frustrating" but some builders were content.
"There's still a number of good stories out there -- some blokes, particularly in the housing sector, they're chipping away and they're very happy with the position they're in," he said.
Housing Industry Association Queensland executive director Warwick Temby said Central Queensland and the Toowoomba regions had experienced double digit growth.
"This is overwhelmingly positive news for an industry that has struggled to climb out of a GFC-induced recession," he said.
Mr Temby was hopeful the $15,000 boost for first home buyers buying new properties would help boost figures.
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Lagging behind: Cairns' construction approval figures have dropped compared to the rest of Queensland. Picture: ANNA ROGERS.