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WA tackles flailing economy with $444 million housing stimulus package


The Western Australian Government has pledged its support to the building and construction sectors through a $444 million major housing package to support local jobs and stabilise the economy as the state recovers from COVID-19.

The stimulus package is set to start immediately and includes a $125 million Building Bonus package and a $319 million Social Housing Economic Recovery Package, which were announced in early June.

An estimated 4300 jobs in Western Australia will be bolstered by the $444 million stimulus, with works being conducted from now through to 2021.

The state government expects the plan to strengthen the work pipeline of building materials companies and tradespeople.

The Building Bonus package is aiming to bolster 2600 local jobs, while providing a surge in residential house building. A total of $117 million out of the $125 million package will provide building bonus grants to homebuyers. The $20,000 grants will be given to homebuyers looking to build a new house or purchase a property in a single tier development, which includes townhouses.

With the grant available until the end of 2020, homebuyers will still able to access the $10,000 First Home Owner Grant and first home buyer duty concession. The state government is predicting that up to a $69,440 incentive can be claimed by WA first homebuyers.

A further $8.2 million will be spent on expanding the rebate scheme under the Building Bonus package.

Boost to the local economy

“This new major housing package will provide a much-needed boost to WA’s economy,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said. “It will provide a pipeline of work for WA building companies and local tradies, like bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters and painters, as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

On top of this, the $319 million Social Housing Economic Recovery Package will see 1700 jobs created, with almost half being in regional areas. The state government will provide refurbishments for 1500 homes and will build 250 new homes. Regional maintenance to 3800 social houses will be also provided through the package.

“The social housing component will also go a long way to helping those in need, get into a quality home,” McGowan said. “As a result of our Budget management over the last three

years, we have the flexibility to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and help support our local economy.

“WA’s residential building industry makes a significant contribution to our economy and community, so it’s important we help protect, support and create new jobs in this space.”

The state government said that $80 million will be spent on speeding up a regional maintenance program to continue to support regional workers and businesses.

WA treasurer Ben Wyatt expects the stimulus package to rejuvenate the housing industry.

“The McGowan Government’s number one priority is repairing the economy and getting Western Australians back to work,” he said. “This significant housing package takes the total funding the State Government has so far committed to COVID-19 stimulus and relief measures to $2.3 billion.

“The package will recharge our housing industry by bringing forward a pipeline of work, providing a boost to our economy and supporting jobs.”

A total of $2.3 billion in stimulus and relief measures has been invested by the Western Australian government in response to COVID-19.

Builders’ panel in the works

The WA Government is also introducing a builders’ panel to support jobs in the construction sector.

The panel will deliver refurbishment works to social housing for a period of two years, with the opportunity for this to be extended further. A high volume of single and grouped housing is also set to be delivered to provide affordable housing in the state.

The state government is looking for builders to provide proposals as part of the Builders Panel.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the building industry to engage with the State Government in the refurbishment of social housing and the development of well-designed social and affordable homes that connect people to place,” Housing Minister Peter Tinely said. “The builders’ panel will deliver housing more quickly and efficiently, as well as reduce time and costs associated with engaging suitable contractors for multiple projects.

“Projects delivered through the panel will support construction activity and jobs and play a key part in WA’s economic recovery post-COVID-19.

“The McGowan Government is working hard with industry to give Western Australians better access to well located diverse, liveable social and affordable housing, and I encourage any interested builders to submit a response.”

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