Australian Economy

Abolishing the ABCC could cost the economy $47.5 billion by 2030

As the date of the Federal Election looms closer, industries and individuals are coming together to discuss what difference they would like to see in the next term of government.

The major parties have made a start in their election campaign, releasing policies that will impact Australians over the next four years.

An issue that is detrimental to the building and construction industry is the Australian Labor Party’s policy to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). Master Builders Australia has been advocating in recent months for this to be stopped.

New modelling by EY shows that abolishing the ABCC could cost the Australian economy $47.5 billion by 2030. For the construction industry alone, abolishing the ABCC could cost $8 billion in economic output immediately and $58.6 billion cumulatively by 2030.

Where construction recovers, bolstered by high demand and investment, other sectors experience sustained negative flow-on effects. Manufacturing could be strongly impacted due to its close links to the construction industry. The services industry will also experience long-term impacts due to long-term negative impacts on gross domestic product-reducing consumption.

In the low-impact scenario, abolishing the ABCC could cost the Australian economy up to 1500 jobs. Job losses occur immediately, as output drops in the construction industry, leading to business closures and layoffs. While the construction industry recovers in output, jobs losses continue as firms downsize to maintain profits at higher labour costs. Job losses also occur in related industries, such as manufacturing and services, due to reduced demand and rising costs.

EY’s modelling found that in the context of building Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and acute supply-side pressures currently facing the industry, abolishing the ABCC could lead to significant economic losses.

A well-functioning and efficient building and construction industry is crucial to the performance of the Australian economy, given that one dollar spent in public infrastructure returns three dollars into the economy.

The ABCC works to ensure the building and construction industry is lawful, productive and efficient. It is critical in minimising unnecessary costs and project risks that arise from delays and unlawful industrial action.

Master Builders Association of Western Australia (MBA WA) will continue to advocate on behalf of the building and construction industry, especially throughout the Federal Election.

Consider becoming a member today. Speak to our membership team on 9476 9800 or email us at to receive the latest news from MBA WA.

Q&A with MBA Housing and Construction Director Jason Robertson

The Question

I noticed the other day that my bricks, which are dark, had a whitish-looking substance on some of them.

A friend said it’s efflorescence. I have never heard of it, any advice?

The Answer

Your friend has a keen eye.

Efflorescence is quite common. It is a deposit (crystallisation) of salts on porous materials, including bricks. Worth mentioning, it can appear on concrete and stone too, including pavers.

Bricks, particularly those that consist of clay, contain highly soluble salts. Clay may react with calcium sulfate, which results in efflorescence.

It is seasonal – often appearing during winter or colder months for the most part.

Several conditions are needed for it to occur – water-soluble salts must be present and moisture to transform salts into a soluble solution.

This is where efflorescence can get mistaken for other stains. With efflorescence, it’s white, sometimes grayish, and it is a chalky or powdery substance.

Getting rid of it is not too difficult. Decent pressurised water can do the trick, or even diluted vinegar and elbow grease – some hard brushing.

It is important to recognise this as being quite common. It’s simply chemical reactions and, overall, isn’t something to be concerned about.

That said, in some rare cases, it may be indicative of other issues, for example if it’s present in a basement.

As always, when in doubt, reach out and ask the experts any questions you may have.

CONTACT Master Builders WA, 9476 9800,

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