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eTradesman.com.au - Australia's Online Tradesman Directory

Cashed Up Plumbers

THEY have been lambasted for charging like wounded bulls. But a snapshot of the availability of tradesmen explains why plumbers demand - and get - up to $1500 a day, making them the highest paid of the building industry's 400,000 tradespeople. According to a joint Housing Industry Association and Austral Bricks report released yesterday, plumbers were the trade group in shortest supply in most capital cities and regional centres in the June quarter. Despite a slowdown in the housing sector, the report found that all tradespeople remained in short supply, with nine of the 13 trades surveyed declining in availability during the quarter. Plumbers, building workers involved in site preparation and roofers led the shortages, which were greatest in Western Australia and Queensland. The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia could not be contacted yesterday, but according to industry sources in most capital cities it is difficult to find a plumber willing to work for less than $1500 a day, with some demanding up to $2000. HIA chief economist Harley Dale said trade shortages would put upwards pressure on building costs at a time when affordability was a challenge for the housing sector. Reasons for shortages were many, but were partly because of an ageing workforce and apprenticeship training that reflected a different era of building, he said. The findings highlighted challenges for the industry which, without an injection of more apprentices and skilled migrants, faced cost pressures. The national president of the Builders Collective of Australia, Phil Dwyer, said the trades shortage had resulted in a 71 per cent increase in building costs over the past five years. Source: News.com.au<-i>
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