Prolonged lead-times, material shortages, and building work price hikes have been a frustrating byproduct of the COVID pandemic, but the state government says it has not been hurt by them.
At least not the delivery of social and affordable housing.
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Premier Peter Gutwein in March last year announced a plan for the state to "build its way out from coronavirus" and the latest state budget showed infrastructure finding totalling $4.6 billion.
But respected Tasmanian economist Saul Eslake said a fine line needed to be walked between building and bust, particularly regarding major civil works.
Mr Eslake said to press on with all government construction would likely bring about an inflation in prices for building work as the sector responded to an already strained workforce.
He said what was likely housing works were not impacted, but was confident "big-ticket" civil works had been, or would be, "held back".
Mr Eslake said the government had already virtually acknowledged the impacts of the pandemic would impact on major civil works when jawing with the opposition over delays.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures on construction work done in Tasmanian non-private sectors tended to agree with Mr Eslake.
Spend from June 2020 to June 2021 was lower than the previous quarter in every reporting period other than March last year - the month Mr Gutwein announced the construction commitment.
The infrastructure investment would "continue to support Tasmania's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic" and "boost the confidence of Tasmanian businesses across industries to continue to invest and grown over the short and medium term", according to the budget.
More than $3.8 billion of that amount would be directed towards the general government sector including $370.6 million for roads and bridges, $110.7 million for hospitals and health and $91.4 million for human services and housing.
But Mr Eslake said the government had also already basically conceded issues with lower than budgeted investment in capital in the last budget.
State Development, Construction and Housing Minister Michael Ferguson said material shortages, price rises and contractor lead-time blow-outs had not had an impact on housing delivery.
He did not comment on whether other areas were impacted by the pandemic construction woes.
We are aware of this issue, but it is not impacting on the delivery of our unprecedented social and affordable housing program.- State Development, Construction and Housing Minister Michael Ferguson
Mr Ferguson said the program the government had implemented for construction was "keeping builders busy" while also "encouraging more workers to do the future projects".
Mr Ferguson said part of the program's encouragement was a commitment to growing the workforce by 25 per cent, which was an expected shortfall as a result of pandemic difficulties.
Mr Eslake said government construction works outside those of housing were being impacted by a lack of workforce, in part due to a lack of migrant workers in the state.
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