by Leighton Smith
CENTRAL Queensland's latest housing approval figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have been described as "steady as she goes".
Master Builders regional manager for Central Queensland, Dennis Bryant said the latest statistics were not overly exciting or down the doldrums, they were moving along as expected.
"Approvals are what goes through council for future construction, we take them as an indicator of how the economy is going," Mr Bryant said.
For the past 12-month period to February (2016/2017), Mr Bryant said that house (detached dwellings) approvals were down 6% overall with 528 approvals, compared to 562 in the previous 12 months (2015/2016).
In the past year to February 2017, 99 multi-unit approvals were granted compared to the previous year's 74 - which is a 33.8 per cent increase in approvals.
When these statistics are combined, there is a slight overall drop of 1.4% in approvals for the past 12 months.
"I think it comes down to confidence in putting money into housing and that's generally caused by the fact that the local economy has slowed down, employment prospects don't look as good as they may have been," he said.
"We're still coming out of this idea that the coal industry is slowing down.
"You get conflicting reports.
"One coal mine opening up and another one closing is putting people off so people see that and think, 'is this a good time to put my money into a house, I might be out of a job tomorrow?'"
Mr Bryant said statistics reflected a holding pattern as people waited for a major project announcement to boost confidence and kick start the economy.
These sentiments were echoed by director of Affordable Quality Homes, Scott Kilpatrick.
"My belief is the community of Central Queensland is waiting for a positive announcement with regards to one of the major projects such as Adani, Great Keppel Island, Mount Morgan mine, any of these number of projects that we're being told are being discussed, we're waiting on the confidence to come back with regards to some these issues," Mr Kilpatrick. said.
In addition to urging decisive action from the politicians, both men lamented the significant obstacles created by red tape and banks which often placed ridiculous restrictions in the way of people looking for funding to buy property.