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Tradie shortages hit after hailstorms

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Queensland hailstorms last year, continued wet weather, COVID-19 impacts and shortages of tradespeople are causing delays and cost increases for roofing repair insurance work in the state’s southeast.

RACQ GM Claims Andrew Johnson says the Halloween storm which hit Springfield and surrounding areas was one of Queensland’s largest hail events on record.

The insurer has so far received 7300 claims. Some 3250 of those were home claims and the majority had damaged roofs.

“This event has been particularly hampered by ongoing poor weather and trade shortages due to domestic and international border restrictions relating to COVID-19,” Mr Johnson told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“Government home building incentives and increased demand for home renovations is also putting extra pressure on the supply chain.”

RACQ says it has onboarded additional builders, but individual trades are in high demand, which is driving increased costs.

“Ongoing climate impacts and shortages of trades provides governments an opportunity to look to increase apprenticeships or increase short-term skilled visas across the building industry, whilst still tackling broader mitigation issues,” Mr Johnson said.

The Insurance Council of Australia is also looking at the problem.

“The ICA has been in discussions with insurers, the building industry and government to find a workable solution,” a spokeswoman said.

Master Builders Queensland says the extent of delays and cost increases varies depending on the contractor, their suppliers and their location, but it’s “a very real problem” across the industry.

“While these shortages seem to be exacerbated in Brisbane off the back of events including last year’s Halloween storm at Springfield Lakes, we’re now being told the problem is spreading to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast regions, and while the issues are different, regional Queensland is also not immune,” Deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said recently.