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SA mandates for local materials in public housing

Public houses built in South Australia must use products manufactured in the state, under ground-breaking mandates introduced by the State Government. Source: Timberbiz

It’s the first change announced as a result of sweeping and broad reforms to government procurement – a Labor election promise which will benefit local businesses, manufacturers and workers.

From now, South-Australian manufactured products must be used on public housing construction and maintenance programs, where available.

The policy will ensure local manufacturers and SA businesses benefit from the State Government’s $177.5 million commitment to build 400 new affordable homes and refurbish a further 350, to help those most in need during a stressed housing market.

“This is a big win for manufacturing industries in South Australia, particularly the forest industries, giving such sectors a boost of confidence and recognition by the State Government,” South Australian Forest Products Association CEO Nathan Paine said.

“Timber frames are a core manufactured product in South Australia that supports our residential construction and building industries, and we are pleased that locally grown trees will be building and refurbishing affordable public homes for South Australians.

“The South Australian forest industries processes about 35% of Australia’s structural house framing timber and about 25% of the nation’s particleboard, and it’s great news that this policy will support our domestic manufactured product over imported product thereby support local jobs,” he said.

“Not only will this initiative be supporting forestry, but it will be supporting job creation in our regions, our local and state economy and most importantly, our regional communities who rely on thriving forest industries.”

Mr Paine said that with Timberlink expected to complete its new CLT and GLT plant in Tarpeena this year, it will secure the South East as one of Australia’s leading timber manufacturing regions, unlocking further economic activity for the region.

The South Australian Housing Authority will release tenders for construction of 103 homes, including the first six homes at Broadview this week, which will also require South Australian workers be used for a minimum of 90% of labour hours, with 20% of those being supplied by apprentices, trainees, Aboriginal workers or the long term unemployed.

Setting an example for the broader industry, the government will require core products used in construction to be manufactured here in SA, including bricks, timber frames, concrete, reinforcing steel, steel frames, windows, security doors and steel for roofing, fencing and rainwater tanks.

It’s estimated these products account for approximately 58% of the cost of building an average dwelling.

Labor pledged to reform government procurement to help give South Australian businesses and workers a competitive edge when deciding where taxpayers’ dollars end up, creating more work and a stronger economy.

The government is targeting an increase of $425 million per year in work awarded to SA businesses.