Homebuilder: Too little and late

05 June 2020

With the construction industry hurtling towards a cliff, the Morrison Government’s construction sector support announcement falls a long way short of what is needed to help prevent significant job losses in Griffith.
Six weeks after Labor began calling for a National Housing Stimulus Plan, HomeBuilder has arrived and it’s a massive missed opportunity.
Terri Butler MP said that most people in Griffith don’t have or want to borrow $150,000 to renovate their bathroom or kitchen in the current economic climate.
“The Government has been raising expectations of a multi-billion dollar renovation rescue, but what we have is a package that is complicated to understand and too difficult for most local families in Griffith to access.
“Homebuilder is too small to help save the jobs of many local tradies. That means a lot of homes won't be built and a lot of tradies will just end up building a longer queue out the front of Centrelink.
“The less done now to protect tradies’ jobs and support the hundreds of small and family-run businesses in Griffith, the harder and longer the recovery will be.”

It is also incredibly disappointing that the Morrison Government could fund a housing construction program but not one cent for social housing.
HomeBuilder will not build a single home for people who need them the most – mums and kids fleeing domestic violence, veterans sleeping in parks, or essential workers.
Labor has repeatedly called on the Morrison Government to ensure that their construction support package included:

  1. Construction of more social housing;
  2. Repair and maintenance of existing social housing;
  3. Construction of more affordable rental accommodation for frontline workers;
  4. Expansion of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme for new builds; and
  5. Grants to first home buyers who build their first home.

The Government’s HomeBuilder program barely ticks one of those boxes.

Industry representatives from the Master Builders Association and the Property Council of Australia, to the Community Housing Industry Association, National Shelter and Homelessness Australia have called for much more substantial packages.
This is another example of the Morrison Government selling the local people who live and work in Griffith short.
After the biggest ever budget bungle with JobKeeper, Robodebt, bushfire relief and sports rorts, our community desperately needs an effective, well executed plan to protect jobs, bolster the recovery and set Australia up for the future.