Amid savage cutbacks in domestic manufacturing capacity, many in the construction sector throughout Australia are becoming increasingly concerned about a growing reliance on imported building materials and the implications this has for the ability of the industry to deliver high performance and safe buildings and infrastructure.

Such concerns are especially relevant in light of the growing use of prefabrication in modern construction. One developer specialising in low cost housing describes homes he sells as being reminiscent of ‘kit homes’ involving components built offshore which are merely assembled here – all at a fraction of the cost…