Media Release

Building activity increase – Media Release

Building activity increase welcomed by COSBOA

Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing a small rise in residential building activity at the start of this year has been welcomed by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA).

COSBOA chief executive Peter Strong warned, however, that the figures showed housing construction remained weak at the start of this year before the full impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns hit, and urged Australians to find ways to support local tradies.

The ABS data on building activity for the March quarter, released on Wednesday, showed just over 43,000 dwelling units were commenced (on a trend basis) in the three months to March, a 1.2 per cent rise on the previous quarter.

This was, however, more than 6 per cent below the levels of the same period last year – a significant slowdown.

Mr Strong said the continuing challenges for the nation’s construction industry meant Australians should think about ways to GO LOCAL FIRST support their local tradies.

“Australians who have the means to conduct renovations of any size in their homes or offices should prioritise spending with small businesses, to ensure they can survive the current downturn and continue to support their communities with their services,” Mr Strong said.

“Construction companies also regularly support local sports clubs and other community groups that keep their communities thriving. “

COSBOA’s GO LOCAL FIRST campaign is supported by the Morrison government and is aimed at encouraging Australians to find ways to support the small businesses in their area.

“Local, skilled tradies are a vital part of our communities,” Mr Strong said. “They help with all manner of issues in daily life, from leaking taps and broken light fittings to major repair jobs around the house.

“Helping these businesses to survive the current challenging conditions will mean they are still there to support us in future.”

Australia’s construction industry employs over a million people, including hundreds of thousands of small businesses and sole traders.

More information on how to support small businesses can be found at


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