Break O'Day sees 16 per cent rise in building approvals

PLANNING APPROVALS: The municipality also saw a nine per cent increase in planning approvals in the 2016-17 financial year. Picture: Stock
PLANNING APPROVALS: The municipality also saw a nine per cent increase in planning approvals in the 2016-17 financial year. Picture: Stock

Building approvals for the Break O’Day municipality rose by 16 per cent in the 2016-17 financial year, according to the council’s Annual Report.

There were 531 new building approvals over the financial year,  up from 457 in 2015-16.

The figures show the municipality outgrew statewide building approval numbers for the year.

Tasmania saw a nine per cent decrease in total approvals over the same period. 

In addition, the municipality saw a nine per cent increase in planning approvals in the 2016-17 financial year.

Break O’Day mayor Mick Tucker said the spike in approvals demonstrated increased commercial and consumer confidence in the region.

“The reason that we’d be having more building approvals would be confidence being shown in our community by commercial development, as well as people who want to retire here for a sea change,” he said.

“We’re seeing a lot of investment into our community now which shows the complete confidence [people] have in Break O’Day.”

Master Builders executive director Michael Kerschbaum said while the building approvals increase is “certainly a good figure”, it is also indicative of a region that has been “struggling economically” for a while.

Mr Kerschbaum said he had recently been made aware of housing shortages in the area, and that the prospective increase in future construction activity may be a result of starting from a particularly low base.

“One family [I spoke to] had to camp out for the summer, because they could not get a house on the East Coast,” Mr Kerschbaum said. 

“They stayed the whole summer in a tent, because there is a shortage of houses in the area.

“These building approval numbers reflect that shortage.”

Mr Kerschbaum indicated that he expects similar increases in building approval numbers across the state over the next year.

“We expect construction to build momentum over the next 12 months,” he said.

“We expect the recent growth in the economy will lead to an increase in jobs, leading to a spike in [Tasmanian] building approval figures.”