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Construction work well off highs as Qld building approvals slide: ABS

first_imgConstruction work is down 40 per cent from the highs of the mining boom in Qld, according to ABS. Photo: Jodie Richter.CONSTRUCTION work done in Queensland in the past quarter was down 40 per cent from the highs of the mining boom, according to the latest figures. While building activity in the states of NSW and Victoria has hit record highs, it’s a different story in the resource states of Queensland and Western Australia.According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), construction work completed in the June quarter surged by 9.3 per cent nationally, but it only rose by 2.1 per cent in Queensland.Building approvals data also released by the ABS highlighted the downward trend in Queensland.Permits to build dwellings in the state fell a seasonally adjusted 2.6 per cent in July to 3,388 — down 20.1 per cent on the same period last year.Nationally, building approvals were down 1.7 per cent for the month and almost 14 per cent lower than a year ago, but economists had expected a bigger fall of 5 per cent.There was renewed weakness in apartment approvals, which were down 6.7 per cent during the month. Tennis court for sale (the home’s not bad either) More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor1 hour ago Qld house sales fall off a cliff Bag yourself a bargain bungalow The figures follow a sharp decline shown in Tuesday’s Housing Industry Association new home sales data and continue the trend of a housing construction sector coming off its peak.Master Builders Australia said the boom in apartment construction could not last forever and some correction was to be expected, especially in the Brisbane and Melbourne markets.HIA principal economist Tim Reardon said the figures showed the detached house building sector had plateaued at a high level while the building of multi-unit projects was sliding.“The slowdown in the multi-unit sector is also showing up in the amount of work done on all residential sites,” he said.“This slowdown in on-site activity is likely to see residential building have a negative impact on GDP growth for the June quarter,”Mr Reardon said the significant variation in industry conditions between apartments and houses across the states was likely to continue for some time.last_img read more

IRS targets conservative groups – Sounds familiar!

first_imgMay 10 2013 WASHINGTON (AP)The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.The agency — led at the time by a Bush administration appointee — blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware. But that wasn’t good enough for Republicans in Congress, who are conducting several investigations and asked for more.“I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not under way at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.White House spokesman Jay Carney declared it was indeed inappropriate for the IRS to target tea party groups. But he brushed aside questions about whether the White House itself would investigate.http://bigstory.ap.org/article/irs-apologizes-targeting-conservative-groupslast_img read more