Rise of Fast Builds: QLD’s Prefab Solution to Housing Crisis

Modular homes are much quicker—built in a factory (rain, hail, or shine) while site preparation work is done. Wood Central understands that 600 modular houses will be used as social housing for frontline workers in regional communities like Bundaberg, Warwick, Mackay and more.

Tue 04 Jun 24


Queensland is backing prefab construction to address its regional housing crisis, with Premier Steven Miles enlisting QBuild, the state government’s building arm, to start producing modular housing at scale.

Yesterday, Premier Miles vowed to build 600 new modular homes off the production line as part of a wider AU $2.8-billion Homes for Queenslanders housing commitment to address ongoing housing supply shortages across the region.

“My first Budget as Premier of the state will help get more homes up off the ground, put more tradies on the tools, provide support for renters and our hardworking homelessness organisations,” Premier Miles said, ahead of his first Budget as Premier next week. “I know that to build the homes Queensland needs, we need to do things differently, which is why QBuild and businesses across the state will be enlisted to roll out more modular homes.”

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Meaghan Scanlon, Queensland Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Public Works, announced the new 600 modular home pledge alongside Cameron Dick, Queensland Treasuer and Steven Miles, Queensland Premier, yesterday. (Photo Credit: Queensland Government).

Interest in modular and prefab construction is now surging, with NSW last year targeting prefab construction to close its 377,000-housing gap. According to  Carl Leaver, the chair of Goldman Sachs-backed TopHat, Europe’s largest modular housing company, global governments have “zero chance” of meeting housing targets without substantial investment in prefab construction.

According to Cameron Dick, Queensland’s Treasurer, the new program will deliver “safe and affordable places to call home.”

“We are doing this by pulling every lever possible,” Treasurer Dick said, adding that the Homes for Queenslanders programme is the most significant investment into housing in Queensland’s history. “This record investment in the state’s housing means we will continue this momentum and provide more housing for all Queenslanders,” he said.

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A render of a ModnPods QBuild modular housing style. (Image Credit: QBuild)

The modular home sector has experienced a surge in interest in recent years, as the construction crunch and wet weather have challenged productivity across the industry. According to Infrastructure Australia, chronic labour shortages, coupled with “unprecedented levels,” could see labour shortages peaking “at a likely shortfall of 93,000 workers in early 2023 or 48% higher than projected supply.”

In March 2023, the Queensland Government launched its QBuild Rapid Accommodation and Apprenticeship Centre prefabrication factory as part of a $519-million Government Employee Housing package. The Eagle Farm factory was built to provide housing for government workers and speed up supply delivery in Queensland alongside private modular house builders such as Yatala-based Volo Modular and Gold Coast business ModnPods.

  • To learn more about Australia’s housing crisis and how poor policy, coupled with the rise of “mega builders”, have led to a shortage in land supply and a surge in construction costs, visit Wood Central’s special feature.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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