Record $32.8B building work in Victoria 2016-17

One of the key indicators for the building industry is the number of building and construction permits issued by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).


Here is a press release from the VBA that will be of great interest to our readers and followers…

Press Release

VBA logo

Record $32.8b building work in Victoria in 2016-17 – rural growth outstrips metropolitan

The value of building in Victoria in the financial year 2016-17 reached a record $32.8 billion, according to the latest building permit data from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).

Across the state, regional and rural Victoria performed better growth-wise than metropolitan Melbourne with the value of building permits outside Melbourne up 6.9 per cent from the 2015-16 value to $5.8 billion. Inner and outer Melbourne rose a combined 3.4 per cent to $27 billion.

VBA Chief Executive Officer Prue Digby said that the value of domestic building permits (houses) for the year was a record $17.3 billion – almost 7 per cent higher than the previous record of $16.2 billion in 2015-16.

Meanwhile, residential building permits (including apartments) fell 11 per cent to $5.3 billion when compared to the previous financial year – still the second highest value on record for this building use category.

Ms Digby said that by local government area, the City of Melbourne remained the number one municipality in the state, with $3.9 billion of building work, followed by the City of Wyndham ($1.8 billion, almost 20 per cent above the 2015-16 level) and the City of Casey ($1.6 billion, also almost 20 per cent higher). The City of Greater Geelong was the number four municipality in the state at $1.4 billion, a rise of 12.8 per cent over 2015-16. Eight of the top 10 municipalities reported works of more than $1 billion in 2016-17.

The biggest building permit issued in metropolitan Melbourne (and Victoria overall) in 2016-17 was for a mixed use Commercial development at Narre Warren valued at $98 million. In rural Victoria, an aged care facility at Armstrong Creek in the Greater Geelong municipality accounted for the highest cost of work, at $28.6 million.

By building use category, the value of building permits in 2016-17 compared with 2015-16 showed:

  • Domestic (houses) increased 6.9 per cent to $17.3 billion
  • Residential (including apartments) fell 11.0 per cent to $5.3 billion
  • Commercial rose 11.8 per cent to $4.1 billion
  • Retail fell 12.2 per cent to $1.7 billion
  • Industrial rose 11.5 per cent to $614 million
  • Public buildings rose 31.9 per cent to 2.7 billion.

By region, the value of building permits in 2016-17 compared with 2015-16 showed:

  • Inner Melbourne increased 0.8 per cent to $14.8 billion
  • Outer Melbourne rose 6.8 per cent to $12.2 billion
  • Gippsland fell 0.4 per cent to $884 million
  • North Central fell 9.0 per cent to $953 million
  • North East rose 14.0 per cent to $838 million
  • North West rose 8.9 per cent to $974 million
  • South West rose 15.7 per cent to $2.1 billion.

Building surveyors submit information relating to their building permit functions to the VBA each month. The information provided by the VBA is drawn from and is reliant on this information.

Sun Safety on Construction Sites

Melbournians typically welcome summer with open arms. It’s the start of beach cricket, picnics, BBQs and having a good time but we must also remember the dangers that come along with those good times, especially in the work place.


As we all know Melbourne weather can deliver 4 seasons in one day however is not uncommon for us to experience days where the weather can hit the high 30’s. If the correct precautions are not taken this can result in heat stroke where the body temperature rises up to 40.5º and the body’s internal system starts to shut down. Some symptoms of heat stroke are throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, red, hot & dry skin, rapid shallow breathing, lack of sweating and unconsciousness just to name a few. These symptoms can lead to serious injury to the brain and other internal organs.

When approaching extreme weather days we need to consider the types of work that will be taking place and whether these can be re-scheduled, whether more man power needs to be hired to ensure the work is completed on time and allowing workers to take more frequent breaks.

Outdoor workers receive five to ten times more sun exposure each year than indoor workers. Spending long periods outdoors can put your workers at high risk of skin cancer.


Some ways of preventing heat illness on the work site:

  • Provide shade close to the work site where possible for refuge from the direct sun and for rest periods
  • Provide SPF30+ broad spectrum sun cream on site
  • Ensure workers have frequent rest breaks and/or rotate duties to allow people to cool down and to limit exposure.
  • Ensure adequate PPE for hot weather is worn, i.e. light breathable clothing, full brim hats etc
  • Provide and encourage the use of mechanical aids
  • Try to organise strenuous work for the cooler parts of the day or consider earlier starts to avoid the heat
  • Provide fluids close to the work area and encourage construction workers to make up for body fluid lost through sweating. A useful “rule of thumb” is that workers should drink at least half a litre of water each hour if hot environments result in excessive sweating
  • Inform and train construction workers to recognise symptoms of heat-related illness

Troubleshooters Available has a legal obligation to ensure its contractors are provided with a safe working environment. For your peace of mind and ours, our safety division, Site Safety Audits Victoria (SSAV), conducts regular site inspections throughout the year providing feedback and suggestions regarding OH&S on site.

Visit our website for further information.