Local building firms remain optimistic

WHILE local creditors grapple with the fall out from the collapse of Kirway Constructions, the local building industry remains buoyant, confident in continued demand for residential properties and smaller project construction.

Firms the Gippsland Times spoke to expressed some concerns the liquidation of Kirway Constructions and its franchise Cavalier Homes Gippsland might cause some customers to worry, but felt the excellent reputation of the many good local builders and the Building Control Commission’s oversight would ensure the local industry did not suffer.

Also offering long term stability is the prospect of the economic boost when work begins on the upgrade at RAAF Base East Sale later this year.

Hotondo Homes Maffra’s principal Ron Bedggood was confident of the industry’s future.

“We have been finding the going quite good,” he said.

“Without blowing our own trumpet, there are also many good builders around here, with good local names.

“We are small project and home builders — we are not into the large commercial constructions,” he said.

“At the moment we are doing a number of homes, one of up to about $600,000, and another two about $450,000, for people who just came in and gave us the job, so there is a bit of trust out there.”

Mr Bedggood said he was aware some sub-contractors had faced difficulties, but said because his firm utilised two teams of sub-contractors, they were able to ensure regularity of employment.

“We are able to keep them going pretty much all year and they pick up other work on the side,” he said.

PR Custom Builders principal Peter Reeves was also confident of the strength of the local industry.

“It’s been pretty good, we have been kept busy.

“While the general economy has been a bit tight there have been a few extensions rather than just new homes, but we are still quite busy.

“It’s about 50-50 for us with new work and people deciding to invest a bit in their homes instead of relocating.

“The commercial side of things has slowed at the moment but there are a few jobs we are looking at, so it’s all good there,” Mr Reeves said.

“The RAAF expansion will definitely benefit the industry.

“There is likely to be stiff competition from out of town because of things being tight elsewhere, but the suppliers and even food suppliers will benefit,” he said.