New constructions may clash

TASMANIA is on the cusp of a construction boom, but it's not necessarily a good thing.

Independent Denison MHR Andrew Wilkie has warned there may be construction cost rises and delays when several major projects fire up around the same time.

Master Builders of Tasmania executive director Michael Kerschbaum shared similar concerns, saying the state had lost thousands of skilled construction staff in the past few years.

"Every month that goes by without these major projects starting is another month that they will most likely start to coincide with each other," Mr Kerschbaum said.

"What we've just seen is the commencement of the Myer project (in Hobart) really here on the ground, and we are being told that some of the larger projects really aren't very far away - just weeks now."

Mr Kerschbaum said there were only a handful of sub-contractors who could handle the major $20 million-plus projects.

"Even the recent demise of PSG, they were one of the largest electrical contractors in Tasmania, and with them to some extent out of the picture, or at least reduced, that leaves a lot less capacity for industry to handle the bigger projects." Mr Kerschbaum said.

He said Northern Tasmania could be disadvantaged, as all the major jobs were down South.

"We believe that will overheat the whole market," Mr Kerschbaum said.

"The large contractors picking up these large contracts generally won't need a lot more work on top of that ... they will be fairly busy."

Mr Wilkie said it was important that the Royal Hobart Hospital project was not delayed further.

"The community needs a world-class facility, fully staffed by world-class doctors, nurses and other health professionals," Mr Wilkie said.


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