Plasterboard supply crisis: AM host Ryan Bridge berates Government for response to GIB shortage

  • 22/06/2022

AM host Ryan Bridge has slammed the Government's creation of a taskforce to find fixes to the GIB supply crisis.

The Government on Tuesday announced a taskforce would look into how to tackle the crippling plasterboard shortage, which is causing severe delays in the construction sector.

But the plan has puzzled those in the construction sector, and Building Industry Federation boss Julian Leys told Newshub Late on Tuesday the taskforce would only work if significant changes could be made.

Bridge, a former political reporter, blasted the Government's taskforce on Wednesday, saying the crisis had been known about for months.

"I hate to be cynical here but when they came out yesterday with all this gusto saying, 'We're going to start a taskforce,' I thought, 'You have got to be kidding me.'"

The taskforce aimed to bring together everyone in the construction industry to help solve the GIB crisis, Building Minister Megan Woods told AM on Wednesday.

But Bridge questioned whether the Government was getting in the way of finding a solution to the issue.

"Would you prefer it was just businesses sitting down, telling [the] Government, 'This is what you will do,' rather than having a bureaucrat in the corner with a little typewriter or a pen and a notebook, and 10 other bureaucrats with rulers and measuring tape telling what you can and can't do?

"Are they not part of the problem?" Bridge asked viewers.

Fellow host Melissa Chan-Green said while it was important for officials to sit down and identify the problem, "perhaps this should have been set up a long time ago".

But Woods on Wednesday denied the task force was just another working group.

"I think that people characterising this as a working group probably misunderstand a bit of what this is going to do," she said. "I haven't put a group of people together to produce a report… and in several months we'll come up with some solutions - this is a troubleshooting group that is doing exactly what we've been doing; finding what the roadblocks are and finding fixes as we go."