$25K grant may not be enough to save Qld building industry
CANBERRA'S $25,000 HomeBuilder grant has been met with mixed reaction from Queensland building industry leaders, with some fearing the scheme does not go far enough.
While most have welcomed the $688 million plan to rescue tradies and related workers, others questioned if it would be enough to "super boost" the sector.
Under the initiative, anyone who meets the criteria for building a new home or doing a substantial renovation can claim $25,000 to help cover costs.
First homebuyers can access a combined $40,000 if they also take advantage of the State Government's First Home Owners Grant.
Steve Foley, chief executive officer of Coral Homes, Queensland's largest new homes builder, welcomed the grant as a much-needed boost to business.
"This will definitely make a difference to the building industry, our supply chain and all the local contractors we employ," he said.
Based on the Gold Coast, Coral Homes directly employs 240 staff and provides work to hundreds of local subcontractors across the state.
Foot traffic to its display homes dropped 90 per cent during the peak of the COVID-19 period and sales plunged by up to 40 per cent.
"We have already started to see an improvement in the numbers of people visiting our display homes and making inquiries since the COVID-19 restrictions have eased," he said.
"I am confident the grant will help fill the gap in our pipeline."
Master Builders Queensland chief executive Grant Galvin said the package would be key in ensuring residential construction did not fall off a cliff by September, but feared it might not supercharge the industry as much as hoped.
"Inquiries and contracts were already starting to dry up so this package will be a shot in the arm," he said.
"But what we need is for the Queensland Government to expand the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant to everyone. We want anyone who is building to access a $40,000 grant. That kind of package will be a genuine incentive and ensure that if you weren't in a position to build before, you will be now."
Gold Coast renovation experts Carlene and Michael Duffy welcomed news of the grant, which comes as their own Tallebudgera home renovation is about to be unveiled on Channel 9 Life's Ready, Set, Reno series tomorrow.
"You can do an entire bathroom for $25,000," Mrs Duffy said.
"For those doing a renovation worth $150,000 or more, the grant would allow you to up-spec materials you otherwise would have had to compromise on.
"It's also enough to encourage those people who might have been holding out to renovate down the track to move on it now."
The $25,000 grant is open to individuals earning up to $125,000, or a combined $200,000 for couples. New homes being built must be worth $750,000 or less, including land, to qualify while renovations must be worth between $150,000 and $750,000.
Contracts must be signed by December 31, with work to begin within three months of the contract date, to be eligible.
Originally published as $25,000 grant may not be enough to save Qld building industry