THE South Coast construction industry has a new home, with the Master Builders Association of NSW opening a new Ulladulla office last week.
Shoalhaven City Councillor Allan Baptist said the opening was timely, coming at a very busy construction period for the South Coast.
"I sense there's a whole new thing happening in building at the moment, something very positive," Cr Baptist said.
"We're constantly getting interest from developers throughout the city."
With projects including the new Ulladulla Civic Centre, a $6 million 28-room motel in Mollymook, a $4.3 million Scots College campus at Culburra Beach, a new asphalt plant near Nowra, planned extensions to the Flinders industrial estate, a GP super clinic and the cancer care centre in Nowra, a new Woolworths complex at Culburra Beach and the $370 million Shaolin Temple complex at Comberton Grange still a possibility, the Shoalhaven's building industry was on a strong footing, Cr Baptist said.
"Things are very, very positive in the Shoalhaven in terms of building," he added.
The new office has been revealed as a first in NSW, being the first time the Master Builders have actually bought premises rather than renting them.
MBA operations manager Craig Donovan said it came about due to the hard work of local staff, headed by the fact the South Coast was "a stronghold for membership" combined with dedicated work by Lynn Smith, manager of the Southern Region stretching from Wollongong to Eden and inland to the Southern Highlands and Snowy Mountains.
Now the regional office and training centre was open, "We hope you can make this place dirty with building site dirt as soon as possible," Mr Donovan told the gathering.
South Coast divisional president Rob Bevear recalled the foundations for the office were laid in August 2004, when he and Tory Puglisi were discussing whether carpenters were staff, contractors or sub-contractors, and approached Lynn Smith, who brought down people from the MBA to discuss the issue with local builders.
"That brought us together," Mr Bevear said.
"Before that the builders didn't really talk to each other."
A key role of the new building in Ulladulla's Home Maker Centre will be to provide a venue for networking and training, particularly in workplace health and safety.
MBA NSW president Gordon Leggett said he was delighted to support that strong footing with new facilities supporting all in the construction industry.
"It's been a goal of the executive for quite a few years to put buildings like this one back into the regions," he said.