Building homes, offices, factories, wheat silos, milking sheds, shearers’ quarters, roads, railways, bridges, tunnels and airports has been central to Australia’s post-war economic growth. Until, that is, the 2013 election.

Now, builders are going broke at an alarming rate. And the nation’s net assets are rapidly diminishing. Last week’s construction data from the Australian Statistics Bureau -- as well as other documents -- reveal the magnitude of the sector’s current extraordinary decline.