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Amid a difficult economic climate, the building and construction industry welcomes the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to pause interest rates today, says Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn.

“Interest rate rises coupled with rising inflation have forced building and construction activity and new homes sales to slow sharply over the last few months.

“A strong building industry is the foundation of a strong economy. The close interdependence between the health of the construction industry and the economy’s fate is clear to see in the current environment.

“We know there’s often a delay for the impact of interest rate hikes or cuts to flow through the economy.

“The RBA has rightfully recognised the negative impacts of rapidly rising interest rates on accelerating rental prices and construction activity.

“There is now an opportunity for government to step up with bold fiscal policy decisions to complete the job of bringing inflation back into line.

“We hope governments do not miss this moment for reform in upcoming state and federal budgets. 

“The government needs to take the necessary steps to ensure we are not overdependent on interest rates as the tool for controlling inflation. By doing so, we can help take some of the pressure off the shoulders of mortgage holders and business owners.

“The upcoming federal budget should focus on policies that ensure spending is carefully targeted at boosting productivity for business and allowing for more favourable outcomes when it comes to the cost, quality and quantity of building and construction output. 

“There is no silver bullet; this will take a concerted effort by all levels of government working in collaboration with industry,” said Ms Wawn.